Robert Connely Farr- Shake It review

Robert Connely Farr Shake It

My introduction to Robert Connely Farr came many years ago—a dozen?—when the Mississippi-native released a set with Jon Wood under the Mississippi Live moniker. I was a fine piece of stripped-down blues, the words about which I wrote long ago left to the ravages of print and the foibles of digitization.

Slow roll ahead to 2022 and I again encounter RCF with a new EP/mini-album Shake It, his ninth album. Nine songs and a loose 30 minutes, Shake It goes by quickly. And pleasingly.

Greasy, blues-drenched rock and roll is as fine a description of Shake It as I can muster. “Lefty,” one of several impressive performances, rumbles from the speakers, the type of dangerous swamp music Mama may have warned you about.

Shake It kicks off with the moaning blues of Charley Patton’s “Sreamin’ & Hollerin’” transitioning to Farr’s mentor Jimmy ‘Duck’ Holmes’ “Going Away to Leave You.” This is as fine an introduction to a modern blues album as one can hope to achieve.

Based in Vancouver and a multiple Maple Blues Award-nominee, Farr is a polished bluesman without shine; experienced and fully-immersed in this music, Farr’s natural inclinations come through his music without filters. His originals are dark and gritty, his vocals and the instrumentation similarly constructed. Farr doesn’t appear to be as interested in perfection as he does in attaining a palpable level of ‘feel.’

“Ain’t No Other Way” may speak to individualism while “Miss My Baby” is a call for companionship, and one isn’t certain he’s looking to be too choosy on the rebound.

Recorded as a trio—Farr (lead guitar), Tom Hillifer (bass), and Jay Bundy Johnson (drums)—if raw and primal blues are of interest, Shake It is sure to appeal with “Going Down South,” “Screamin’ & Hollerin’,” and “Shake It” standing out.

Damn good blues music.

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