Alvin Youngblood Hart


April 24, 2004


Alvin Youngblood Hart hit hard with the Blues Saturday afternoon in a Jazzfest tent.

While fellow up and coming bluesmen Corey Harris and Chris Thomas King astound with power of focus and reserved vocals, Hart bowled me over with his energetic, gritty and soulful style. Maybe it was his large size or his stomping feet, but I knew when Hart felt something. His Countrified Blues connected with me.

Though his records also display a fondness for Dancehall Jazz and Hard Rock, Hart was alone with his acoustic guitar onstage.

Hart was influenced by 1920's and '30's artists such as Bukka White, Charley Patton, Lead Belly (Huddie Ledbetter), and Blind Willie McTell.

Hart's music was cut down and raw. During the performance, he didn't address the audience much, but when he played so well that breaking the ice was more like an option.

Hart, 40, has many more years ahead of him and hopefully many more Jazzfest appearances.

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