There’s no doubt that we are living through hard times–times I describe as “The Right Time (To Sing The Blues)” on the first track off the album, Plague Blues, that my band, The Blue Tide, recently released. I’m excited to share with you the new review of our album written for the Washington Blues Society’s monthly magazine, Bluesletter.
In the review, Rick J. Bowen highlights a few of our songs, our approach to the musical tradition, as well as the social struggles that our music speaks to. If you are moved by the review, you can check out the album yourself on Spotify–and even click the follow button and let us know which tracks you’re feeling by leaving a like. Or better yet, purchase the album (or check out our first album) on Bandcamp to support the band. You can also stay connected with The Blue Tide on social media.
In addition, you can watch the music video for our song, “Where I Got My Name (Down In Mississippi).
I hope these songs help you move through these difficult days to better ones ahead.
-J.D. Lenoir (AKA Jesse Hagopian)
The Blue Tide
The Blue Tide is the acoustic blues collaboration of lifelong friends guitarist Daniel Rapport and harmonica man J.D. Lenoir (AKA Jesse Hagopian). Their new release Plague Blues, released June of 2022, is the duo’s first album of all original songs written during the pandemic that speak to isolation, distress, and the struggle of these times.
As The Blue Tide worked on their album over the summer, J.D.’s father made an inspiring discovery. Their family was enslaved on the same plantation as the family of the legendary blues artist, J.B. Lenoir, one of the most prolific social commentary blues singers of all time. The 11 tracks have the feel of Alan Lomax field recordings and feature snippets of an interview with Jesse and his Uncle Ivan “I.T. Lenoir” about how he faired through the pandemic.
The spooky “Right Time (to Sing the Blues),” sets the tone as it speaks directly about COVID, Black Lives Matter and the January 6th insurrection. Rapport dazzles us with his fast fret work on “Where I Got My Name,” and greasy slide playing for the thought provoking “Make It Hard To Get There.” Lenoir pulls out all the stops on his blues harp during the instrumental “Back Porch Boogie.”
It isn’t all doom and gloom as the jaunty “Let The Light In,” is filled with cockeyed optimism and the sweet tome “Love Misbehaves,” is a tender closer for a fine set of music rooted in the classic delta blues tradition.
–Rick J Bowen