Skip "Little Axe" McDonald, the legendary blues guitarist, might not have sold his soul at the crossroads, but he's looked both ways down the road of the old blues, up the highway of the future before proceeding.
An old school bluesman in the tradition of everyone from Howling Wolf And Leadbelly to Blind Willie Johnson, McDonald channels the past into the future through his internationally regarded project, Little Axe. Founded in the early 1990s, with five acclaimed albums to their credit (three for Real World), Little Axe are redefining the blues for the current generation.
The Little Axe melting pot is large, and bubbling. Here are addictive rhythms. Soulful vocals. Pinches of dub and funk, reggae and gospel. Oh-so-subtle samples and innovative electronics. And underpinning it all, McDonald's shimmering blues guitar licks, conjuring a space where the dirt roads of the Deep South meet the shiny lanes of the Information Superhighway.
After a series of studio-based, effects-laden albums, they have returned to their roots onBought For A Dollar, Sold For A Dime, set for June 7th release.
For the first time in seventeen years the original crew met, pressed flesh and played live. A host of musical heavyweights assembled in the Big Room at Real World for this rare and privileged session, with all but the London-based McDonald and his co-producer, British dub maestroAdrian Sherwood, flying in from across the USA.
"I understand the blues better now that I'm older," says Skip. "But doing this album" He flashes a grin. "This album has made me feel young again."