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CD REVIEW: Peadboy - Brand New Leaf
By Don Sechelski - 06/16/2013 - 08:17 PM EDT

Artist: Peadboy
Album: Brand New Leaf
Genre: Blues, Country, Americana
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Playin' Downtown, All My Tears, Tear Stained Eye
CD Review: The spirit of Gram Parsons lives on in Brand New Leaf, the latest release from blues slide guitarist, Ross “Peadboy” Pead. A Waycross Georgia native, Peadboy has been a fixture in the Atlanta blues scene for years, sitting in with a variety of blues bands or holding forth with his own band, Uncle Sugar, at barbecue joints and festivals all over North Georgia. He plays a style of delta slide blues that is as authentic as Mississippi mud and as tasty as homemade pecan pie. On Brand New Leaf, Peadboy shows the full range of his multi-instrumental talents, playing guitars, mandolin, bass, drums, and harmonica. In fact, he started his musical journey over 40 years ago as a drummer for the Youngbloods down in Waycross.

Brand New Leaf kicks off with a Pead penned tune, Hurry Up And Get There featuring Peadboy’s classic slide and whiskey blues vocal. If this song doesn’t get you moving, you’re dead. Peadboy goes on to cover a variety of tunes from Tom Waits’ Who Are You to Julie Ann Miller’s classic, All My Tears. Along the way, he throws in a few classics of his own, Playin’ Downtown, Let It Make Me So Blue, and Going In The Valley. Through it all, his slide guitar evokes tears and joy, wringing every bit of emotion from each song.

It’s hard to pick out a favorite on Brand New Leaf. Playin’ Downtown certainly stands out. Peadboy’s soft drawl sings out, “When they told me you’d gone too far, You’ll never cross the river by car, You’ll never find a happy place, They better tie you down.” Another standout is the Sun Volt tune, Tear Stained Eye. The combination of Peadboy’s evocative slide and heartfelt vocal brings a depth of feeling that takes this great song to another level.

Ross Pead is a North Georgia treasure, weaving his musical magic through the Atlanta music scene. Brand New Leaf goes a little way toward documenting his talent for posterity. It’s a time capsule of greatness.

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