Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
Without dreamers there is no progress, without The Dreamer there is no call back to celebrate and reflect upon a time of Blues which has largely since disappeared as the new century has dawned and allowed the genre to tackle the issues that faced it as the 1980s and 90s came to an end. To take such a positive and courageous step and reinforcing what made the Blues so special to millions of fans is a privilege that must not be abused, but one that should see the artist flourish under the scrutiny that is sure to come.
It is an undertaking to remind the past of what could have been, for the Blues did suffer in the last couple of decades of the 20th Century, it was in danger of becoming extinct, placed on an endangered species list at the very least; for in its rush to be something other than the pure sound it once was. It left something beautiful behind, a sense of purpose that it had carried with it from before the pre-war days and the clubs that helped it thrive. Whether that was in a kick back response to the emerging culture of rap and hip hop one can only surmise, but it was certainly the dreamers that kept its pulse going, that kept it alive in the background.
For Kid Andersen, the past surely is more than reflection, it is a celebration and in his new album, The Dreamer, what comes across is the unashamed love of a genre that obviously steered him, that bound him to the shores of the Delta and harnessed the energy that seeps out across the time that has been trusted and pilloried in equal measure.
In songs such as Rocket Fuel, Twist of the Century, The Nightmare, A Better Day and My Baby Lee, Kid Andersen, alongside his special guests of Charlie Musselwhite, Rick Estrin and Andy Santana providing the ample passion and musicians such as Randy Bermudes, Butch Cousins and Jimmy Dewrance, offering of Blues that could nestle easily in the days of post war recognition as well as being a bridge between the past and the return of the genre to its former greatness. The Dreamer is that bridge, what the Blues could have been had it not exploded like a star in the heavens and went cold through misunderstanding and over gorging.
An album of memory, as well as warmth, the tone of which carries a sense of longing and nostalgia but one that remembers that Blues must never again be taken for granted; to allow it to become bloated once is forgivable, to see it repeat the mistake would be a crime that not even the dreamers can see a way out of.
Ian D. Hall