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Eddie 9V Little Black Flies

Rhetta Akamatsu 

Atlanta blues man Eddie 9V is set to release Little Black Fies on Ruf Records May 28. While this is not Eddie ‘s first record, it is his first for an established record label. It was produced at Atlanta’s Echo Deco Studios  Eddie’s brother, Lane Kelly.

Even though he is only 24 years old, Eddie is no newcomer to the stage. Indeed, he began performing in clubs around Atlanta at age 15 under his original name, Brooks Mason, with his brother Lane. My husband and I saw him perform that year, and I was surprised at how natural he was in front of an audience. This album, recorded live in the studio, shows he is just as natural on record. You even get some loose chatter between him and the other musicians, who include some of the cream of the Atlanta scene. The bassist, for instance, is Brandon Boone from the Tedeschi Trucks band. Another speciL guest is Cody Matlock, a former prodigy who has grown into a guitar hero and a long-time friend of Eddie’s.

One thing that has not changed with any of Eddie’s endeavors under any name is that the music is really excellent. There are 9 original tunes and 3 covers and they are all authentic,  full of soul and true to Eddie’s blues roots while adding a modern twist.

Every track here is a winner, but “Litle Black Flies” shows that Eddie 9V knows how to get dark and “3 AM in Chicago” is a hard look at life on the poor side of town. To balance the serious songs, there is the silly fun of “Columbus Zoo Blues” and the sassiness of “Miss Jane.

Mark your calendR for May 28 and p ck out your own favorites from this amazing release from an explosive young artist who should be on your radar if he is not already!

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Eddie 9V – Way Down the Alley

by Rhetta Akamatsu

Many of us have been craving live music these days when we can’t safely gather, so it is lovely to hear Way Down the Alley. Close your eyes and imagine you are at Atlanta’s famous Blind Willie’s Blues Club, where it was recorded, listening to Eddie 9V (pronounced 9 Volt) lay down a blistering set of authentic blues with his excellent band. Even the “technical difficulties” early in the set are fun!

Eddie is only on his 20’s, the same age Robert Johnson and other icons were when they started, but like them, he has already been playing and performing under other names for years, and most of the audience have been fans of this man and his band members for a long time. And this recording surely shows why.

Whether it’s his own original music, like “Left My Soul in Memphis” and “Lo-Fi Love,” or classics like “Look Over Yonder Wall” and “Catfish Blues,” Eddie 9V deliver them perfectly. His deep love for this music shines through.

As for the band. Eddie himself is a strong guitarist, capable of delivering those fierce solos so necessary in live blues. The rest of the band (Lane Kelly on bass, Colin Dean on drums, Chad Mason on keyboards, and Jackson Allen on harmonica are tight and exciting. Chad Mason really shines on this album and Jackson Allen was a wonderful treat.his harmonica loving heart.

Eddie 9V always delivers, and this time he does it again. You will feel like you are there, having a great time and falling in love with the sound of this band!

Posted in blues, Uncategorized

Eddie 9V Left My Soul In Memphis

Eddie9vEddie 9V, pronounced 9 Volt, is a phenomenon on his own. He is only 23 years old but under a different name he has been playing Atlanta clubs since he was 15 years old. In 2014, he and his brother competed, with their band, in the IBCs. So when you learn that he is only 23 years old, don’t think he is a beginner in the blues! This January, he is headed back to the IBCs to showcase Left My Soul In Memphis as Atlanta’s Best Self-Produced Album.

Not only did Eddie produce the album himself, working hard to produce a lo-fi sound, he also played all the instruments except the keyboards as well as doing all the vocals. The keyboards were provided by Rhett Huffman. Eddie did drums, that searing guitar, bass, and horns, working on mixing and layering in a genuine Georgia shack he turned into a studio. He wanted a vintage sound and he got it, while still filling the album with funk, soul and absolutely authentic blues.

Eddie’s hero is Freddie King and he shows that influence everywhere, including the incredible version of “Yonder’s Wall” that opens the album. Next, we get the strongly STAX influenced “Left My Soul In Memphis,” which also shows the amazing songwriting talents of this young man. Then comes the intense “Bottle and the Blues,” an original with a very traditional subject and some mighty sweet guitar. If you don’t know his story, it is probably hard to comprehend how he could get that good so young, but we train them that way here in Georgia!

“New Orleans” lets the guitar do a lot of talking, while Eddie sounds more world-weary than he ought to be. “Bending With the Kings” is an incredible instrumental tribute to Freddie, Albert, and BB King, and 9V holds his own with all of them.

“Woke Up Sweatin’” is driven by a catchy riff that draws you into the song’s narrative about love and the need for it, and includes some hot piano by Huffman. In “36th &Main” Eddie considers a musician’s common  solution to that problem: He’s going to 36th and Main to find himself a “midnight woman – one who “don’t talk or complain!” Yeah, he plays those horns, in this jazzy, upbeat number.

“Ghosts” has the most country-blues feel, with strong traces of Dylan and Hendrix in the lyrics and pure blues in the guitar. This is a highlight for the great songwriting and evocative singing. “Lo-Fi Love” is the most contemporary and vocally a definite highlight, showing off 9V’s range.

It’s time for some funk with “Don’t Test Me, Baby” and then Eddie wraps it up with some fine picking and strumming and a trip back to “1945 (Cocaine & Rum.)” Remember that he is the only one playing anything on this track!

Eddie 9V is a genius and “Left My Heart in Memphis” should explode him onto the national scene. As long