Sunday, April 14, 2024

Brother Dege shines on Aurora

Brother Dege (previously known as Dege Legg) is a seriously talented man – an award-winning writer who produces dark blues with attitude, traditional blues with modern twists, and psyche blues with feeling. I fell for his atmospheric blues back in 2012 when I heard the remarkable and brilliant ‘The Battle of New Orleans.’ I sought out his other works, including the Quentin Tarantino lauded Folk Songs of the American Longhair.

I was delighted therefore to receive his latest album (his sixth) called Aurora… it has his trademark Louisiana-based influences but adds (as always) a biting edge of slide guitar and lyrical wizardry along with shots of rock ’n’ roll when it’s needed.

Opening with the title track, an achingly beautiful slide instrumental that cleverly interprets the image of shimmering light and paints it accurately in sound. A gentle, country-tinged blues song follows as ‘Where the Black Flowers Grow’ unfolds with great rhythms, more slides and a measured, emotional vocal. Piano adds more atmosphere to the already atmospheric ‘Climbing Ivy (Sleep Beside You)’ with more enthralling, yet subtle slide work. The rock comes into play on the multi-tracked and lovely guitar of ‘Turn of the Screw’ although the blues continue to infuse.

Neat volume control work introduces the instrumental psyche of ‘Ouroboros’; ‘Loser’s Blues’ is kind of T-Rex and early Whitesnake and just works. Brother Dege leaves us with ‘The Longing’ which shows his unerring skill at writing anew, the blues of yore as his heartbreaking vocals embody the song’s title across its wonderful twelve minutes (well, eleven not counting the overlong fade).

This is another album of great blues from a skilful writer and musician and, although there are no fast-rocking songs, it is packed with quality that any blues lover will warm to very quickly… and capture many a rocker too, if they give it a chance.

Aurora is out on 15th March 2024.

Sadly, on Friday, March 9th 2024 news came that Brother Dege died at the age of 56. No cause of death has been given. RAMzine sends condolences to his family and friends during this time. And we encourage everyone to go check out this album.

Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon
North East born, South West domiciled music lover - mainly heavy rock & blues but not averse to other genres. I'm fortunate to have retired early & I can now take full advantage of the 40+ years I have spent collecting, listening, watching & playing (badly) & have enjoyed researching how blues in particular has shaped the music we know & love today. Now if only I could get my Strat & Musicman to sound in reality how they do in my head!

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Brother Dege (previously known as Dege Legg) is a seriously talented man - an award-winning writer who produces dark blues with attitude, traditional blues with modern twists, and psyche blues with feeling. I fell for his atmospheric blues back in 2012 when I heard...Brother Dege shines on Aurora