*********** 2006 MAMA AWARD, BEST BLUES ALBUM 2006 MAMA AWARD, BEST BLUES ARTIST *********** Jerry Alexander is a singer-troubadour, a one-man-band, a storyteller and a rare musical artist. With Radiator, he has given us a scarily brilliant recording that couldn't have come from anyone else. The blues is at the heart of Jerry's music - but it would be a mistake to place him inside any one category. The spirit of unique American artists like Thelonious Monk, Hank Williams, and Howlin' Wolf is in the air here; quirky, courageous, irascible. Jerry's defining quality, like theirs, is a refusal to compromise. The result is music with a deep rhythmic groove and the kind of naked honesty that goes right through you. His way with a song can haunt you. He will pull you inside it and reveal it's secrets, as he does here with a reworking of Chuck Berry's Memphis. That familiar tune, in Jerry's hands. Could break your heart if you let it. Some of the songs on Radiator are tragic, or comical, or just plain funny (as in his ode to Breakfast, the most important meal of the day), but none of them are watered-down. They sound the way they do because Jerry wouldn't have it any other way. As jazz master Ben Sidran says, it's not pretty, but it's beautiful. It could have been made twenty years ago, or twenty years from now. This is not about the musical fashion of the moment; this is about communication, clear, direct, and pure.
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