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 News Rock 13/04/2017

Acclaimed Bluesman Blind Lemon Pledge Takes A 'Backwoods Glance' At Americana Music On His New Album

New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Even a guy with the stage name Blind Lemon Pledge can't sing the blues all the time! After a nearly decade long discography exploring a multitude of blues-related styles, Blind Lemon Pledge (aka James Byfield) is taking a 'Backwoods Glance' with a new album that explores his Americana, Folk, and Country influences. The new album is distributed by CDBaby and available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other major outlets.

Critically praised on his previous albums for his deft handling of diverse and eclectic musical styles, Pledge ( does not disappoint with this new collection. With styles ranging from line dance swing to Appalachian folk to Cajun stomp, with detours to romantic waltz, jug band hoot and Southern Country Gospel along the way, Blind Lemon Pledge once again displays his boundless skills as a songwriter, musician and producer.
Says Pledge "I had a batch of songs I knew would never fit on a straight blues album. Having had such good success in the Blues arena, I thought I would try my luck in the Americana market with a Folk and Americana album, flavored, of course, with a touch of the blues."

Another major impetus for 'Backwoods Glance' was to capture the spirit of the several Bay Area Americana style round-robin jam sessions in which Pledge participates. To this end, Pledge handpicked a group of musicians from the jam sessions and from his blues band to round out the sound. In addition to Pledge on vocals, guitars and harmonica, the musicians include Tom Cline (dobro), Jimi Edwards (keyboards, percussion), Pledge's regular bassist Peter Grenell, world class violinist/fiddler and band member Cal Keaoola, singer Marisa Malvino (harmonies and lead vocal) and John Pearson on cajon and percussion.

The album kicks off with the lively "Polly Come Out" which quickly establishes the new directions Pledge is exploring on this album. The "Hills of West Virginia" is a haunting folk tune about Appalachian coal miners. The Dylanesque "Fayetteville," a poignant song about homelessness, exemplifies Pledge's superb storytelling ability and economy of style.

Also included are: "Sisters of the Coal Dust", written and sung from a woman's perspective; "Moon Over Memphis" a heartbreaking waltz about lost love; "Lynchburg Town" another Dylanesque tune about unemployment; and the uplifting folk-rock anthem "Silver Wings" about searching for dreams in Hollywood. "Sweet Celine" is all fun with a jug band mood; "Carolina Kiss" is a keyboard driven, emotional ballad about memory and loss; "My Belle Cherie" is a detour into Cajun country with a humorous tune about young love and lust. The album finishes its musical journey with "Give My Poor Heart Ease", echoing old Southern Baptist hymns with a story of finding hope amidst despair, a theme that runs throughout the album and reaches its apotheosis in this song.

One critic has described Blind Lemon Pledge as a "national treasure." His previous albums, 'Evangeline' (2014) and 'Pledge Drive' (2016) have been hailed as 'masterpieces" and received international critical praise and airplay. In the US, Powderfinger Promotions will be promoting the album to the Americana, Folk and Country markets, and Hemifran will be promoting throughout Europe.

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