Click On Title To Link To YouTube's Film Clip Of Rory Block In Concert.
Have Mercy, Rory
Angel Of Mercy, Rory Block, Rounder Records, 1994
I recently, in reviewing Rory Block’s fine “Gone Woman’s Blues CD, noted that I owed her one. Here is why. During the recently completed misbegotten presidential campaign season I took more heat that one could shake a stick at for using the title of one of country blues master Skip James’ “I’d Rather Be A Devil That To Be That Woman’s Man” for some political blogs that I wrote in regard to the Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party candidacy. For months I took it on the chin from my feminist friends as exhibiting some form of latent hostility to women, especially woman candidates for president. (By the way, that was a totally false accusation. I would have been more than willing to vote for Victoria Woodhull on the Woman’s Equality ticket in 1872.) There one day I remembered through the mist of time singer/songwriter Rory Block’s rendition of the James’ classic and which forms the headline to this entry. Thanks, Rory.
But thanks and kudos can only go so far. The present CD, “Angel Of Mercy”, leaves me cold. Rory, I believe, has always had two speeds. The natural blues one and the contemporary folk stylist one. That latter style is on display here and not to her benefit. Probably, and here I may get back into “hot water” politically, the main problem is that the lyrics of these songs do not “speak” to me. It could be age, it could be gender, it could be the wayward subjects but they just do not resonant with me. Not to worry though there are other Rory CDs that do “speak” to me and will get more a more positive review like the one given to “Gone Woman Blues”.