Featured Artist George Scherer
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George Scherer began his career as a performing musician at the tender age of three when he climbed onto a piano bench at Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Hueytown, AL, and sang all the verses to “The Old Rugged Cross” for the Sunday morning congregation. Later that year, while in Children’s Hospital, he amazed and entertained the nurses with renditions of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” and “Kawliga” by Hank Williams. Although he only began making his living as a musician in 1992, he has been singing all his life and playing guitar and writing songs since his first year in college.
Since 1992, George has performed his eclectic mix of “folk-rock & country-blues” at clubs and other venues throughout Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi. He has performed at the Johnny Shines Memorial Concert in Tuscaloosa, Do-Dah-Day in Birmingham, the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA, Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, AL, the world famous Flora-Bama in Perdido Key, AL, the Celebrate Marietta Festival in Marietta, GA, the Carrboro Music Festival & the Open Eye Café in Carrboro, NC, BayFest in Mobile, and at the Briarfield Music Festival just south of Birmingham.
With the release of his fourth album, Headlight Blues, Scherer has once again shown himself to be an excellent songwriter and a strong, soulful singer. “Circuit Ridin’ Blues” harks back to the age of the street singers with its raw guitar, harmonica, and vocal, as does “Night Owl”, while “Headlight Blues” moves more toward a Muddy Waters feel. The album portrays his love for the highway, travel, radio and the late night world in general. The one cover song on the album is “Lodi” by John Fogerty, which takes on a completely different flavor from the original, sounding a bit more like the blues song it is. “Delta Blues” is a country folk number about getting away from Mississippi, with its chorus made up of titles or lines from blues songs which he says were all “about leavin’ or wantin’ to leave.” “Late Night Radio” is a slow finger-picked blues accompanied by a lonesome fiddle, while “This Ol’ Truck” is pure country with dobro and a sing-a-long chorus. There is a pair of up-tempo love songs, and the album ends with a couple of late night songs. One is a fun loving take on “last call” and the other a plaintiff ballad about growing old titled “I Ain’t Done Yet”.
It has been almost 10 years since Scherer’s last release, the politically driven The Election Year Waltz (2004); and as though to prove he hasn’t lost his social conscience, he has given us “I Dreamed Last Night of Kerouac”, which is perhaps the highlight of the album. A folksy tune with the gentle beat of a slow moving freight train, it describes a highway filled with “abandoned cars and refugees, … a preview of coming attractions” and decries the “homogenization” of American culture where the “tv shrugs and takes a swallow/of all that’s meaningless and hollow”. It ends with a verse about surveillance and the growing gap between the rich and poor. The chorus bemoans a world that feels “choreographed, like some tourist photograph” and the fear of becoming “just one more voice in the choir.” One reviewer described his songs as “truly delicious country blues that find their way straight to the soul … low-key and sad, as good blues should be, with that crescent glimmer of hope for better times ahead” (Don Pflaster, ImpactPress.com).
Source: Official Website
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