Eric Hisaw

Nature of the Blues – 2008 (Saustex)

Reviewed by Dawn Pomento

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CDs by Eric Hisaw

The accordion isn't usually associated with the blues, but that may change with the title track of Eric Hisaw's latest, which veers from, but includes country. Austin-based Hisaw enlisted accordion legend Ponty Bone for several tracks. On the title song, Bone's accordion gives a plaintive answer to Hisaw's primal laments. It's just one example of the subtle layers of instruments used and a memorable example of musicianship that stands out on a CD full of stand out tunes.

Hisaw has a knack for combining a hook and a melody that makes his songs linger long after the CD ends. "The Nature of the Blues," as the title might suggest, is not the perfect CD to start a party, but it might be one for the end of a party, in the wee hours, when the conversations and drinking get serious. Then lyrics like those on the final track, "Last in Line," will strike a chord of recognition for most adults: "Blinded by love you do the damnedest things." In an age of downloads, Hisaw constructed an old-fashioned, cohesive album that works from the first to the last track, lucky 13.