Jim Schwall adapts a conversational tone on "Manic," a nonchalant country blues number about a female partner who's unable or unwilling to master her moods. And since this is a live performance, it's easy to imagine a rapt audience leaning in a little closer at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse in order to catch the brief hiccup of a laugh in his voice when he relates the amateur diagnosis of a work mate who advises: "Man, that women is manic/And that's only half of what's wrong, too."
That rascally moment makes the tune, of course, taken from his new live album Getting Old released on Uvulittle Records. But it's also an indication of how close Schwall's come to the acoustic blues masters who influenced his ground-breaking blues-rock act Siegel-Schwall Band back in the Sixties. Like them, he's figured out exactly how to add a wink and nod to material that, at base, is really about the desperate, low-down side of love.
Don't think that's one heckuva trick? Well, I urge you to make a close study of the latest flashy young blues players. They couldn't pull off that brand of quiet irony in a million years.
An MP3 of the track are available in the related downloads at right. More music by the bluesman can be found at his MySpace page. Schwall is hosting a release party for the new CD on Saturday, November 10 at Mother Fool's Coffeehouse, where he will play on both 6- and 12-sting guitars.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.