CeDell Davis is a native of Helena, Ark., one of the true cradles of the Delta blues.

CeDell Davis is a native of Helena, Ark., one of the true cradles of the Delta blues. He's been playing guitar and singing the blues in Arkansas for decades without receiving much notice, though it seems as though this CD release has disturbed his peaceful lifestyle (he's been on the road touring behind its release). Davis is unequivocally deep in his blues—his elemental style attracted such collaborators as Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Joe Cripps (Brave Combo,) and Scott McCaughey (the Minus Five). There's nothing mysterious going on here; cue up any track and what you'll get is gut-bucket blues. Anyone who enjoys R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, and/or T-Model Ford will immediately understand Davis' juke-joint voice and his rugged guitar style (he frets his guitar with a butter knife). This is splendid, highly recommended music. Distributed by Ryko.—PVV