Pete Levin – Deacon Blues

Pete Levin
Deacon Blues
(Motema Music – 2007)
by Donald Eichelberger

I’m going to vary from my customary song-by-song commentary format. In this instance, I don’t intend to be uncomplimentary, for I can find nothing uncomplimentary to say about this entire CD. I’m not excited, but I’m also DEFINITELY NOT disappointed.

This is a recording of a group of solid, competent, journeymen musicians going about their business. Straight ahead, no monkeying around. (Good sidemen are important, and in his case, these guys are so good that you catch yourself listening to their individual performances like one listens to Bach inner harmonies – appreciating that the “lead” isn’t always where the “meat” is.) Led by Pete Levin, they play a varied and decent selection of songs, any one of which might not catch your attention, but any one of which might just as easily get you to tappin’ your feet, and even up and dancin’, if they happen to tap-into your groove, which they just might, like on “Once Lost”.

This is the sort of CD I’d put on when I want something tasty, but not intrusive, going on in the background – something that will pretty much stay in the background, but every once in a while a gem of a song or a particularly creative solo will deftly find its way into the foreground. This shifting from foreground to background occurs often enough that you won’t get bored. You probably won’t take this CD off in order to put something else on. Once you start to listen, you’ll probably listen to the whole thing… I did!