Album: What My Eyes have Seen
Artist: John Blues Boyd
Label: Gulf Coast Records
Review by Joseph Timmons: IndiePulse Music Magazine
John Blues Boyd was born in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1945, in his youth he was picking cotton in the fields at the age of seven. At eighteen he was run out of town by racist forces for joining Martin Luther King’s Freedom March at sixteen. He has lived a life that has witnessed the struggle and oppression of Afro Americans through the dark days of Jim Crow. The murders of many including Dr. King, Malcolm X, and John F Kennedy. John overcame all this and married and made a good life for himself and his lovely wife Donna Mae in California. This new album What My Eyes Have Seen is being touted as an autobiography, the story, the life and times of a living legend, a national treasure.
What My Eyes Have Seen is 15 tracks of pure elegance, intellectual genius in the words of a working man, one whose hands have felt the earth run through his fingers, in ways both good and bad, a man whose feet have walked many miles, or has run miles to save his life, a man who had to stand up, stand tall against the winds of oppression, and for the winds of change… you have to hear his words to hear his life.
Guy Hale of Gulf Coast Records says “This record is not just John Blues Boyd’s story but stands as a testament to the struggle and contribution of the Afro American people who have contributed so much to make this country great. It also gives warning of what happens when racism and inequality are allowed to have a voice in society. Modern politics are indeed divided and dark. In John’s songs and memories is a warning that we should all heed about what can happen when we allow evil to prosper.
This is a great record by a man who should be regarded as a National Treasure and hopefully, this record will go some way to addressing this but this magic could only happen with the musical brilliance of the great Kid Andersen. You send him lyrics he sends you back musical gold, sometimes within hours. The sweep of his imagination knows no bounds. He hears things that no other producer l have worked with hears and he plucks them from that fertile imagination and makes them come alive. He is the conduit that has pulled this record together and helped John Blues Boyd make what l believe will be one of the seminal Blues records of this or any century. Mike Zito and l are so proud to have this record on our label and have the privilege of working with two giants of the Blues. John Blues Boyd and Kid Andersen.”
The Blues, in its beginning and through time has been and will always be a method of telling one’s story of struggle, love, sorrow, joy and pain, beginning as a lament of the woe of a people trying to find their way in a world not of their choosing or design, from slavery to an undefined freedom, where color segregation, lack of human rights and condemnation based on ignorance ruled the south and much of America. And though today, “The Blues” does not consider color of the artist or listener relevant, it is one of the foundation stones of the modern African American’s legacy.
What My Eyes Have Seen is such a story, such a foundation keystone, and John Blues Boyd has captured the story of his life, every laugh, every tear in every note.
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/john.bluesboyd.1
Photos taken from Artist Facebook Page
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