Search - John Koerner :: Stargeezer

John Koerner
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (17) - Disc #1

Folks won't be piling out in droves to buy a disc of a middle class guy singing the blues, even if it's old Spider John, the man who influenced so many back in the '60s. But they should. You want to hear where David Lindle...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Koerner
Title: Stargeezer
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Red House
Original Release Date: 5/21/1996
Release Date: 5/21/1996
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Blues, Acoustic Blues, Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 033651008422, 033651008446

Folks won't be piling out in droves to buy a disc of a middle class guy singing the blues, even if it's old Spider John, the man who influenced so many back in the '60s. But they should. You want to hear where David Lindley got his ideas? Or Bonnie Raitt? You want to hear American traditional tunes, blues, and folk all mixed up with a New Orleans second-line rhythm section? Then you need this. You won't find many like Koerner, with not just a feel for the music, but with the music pulsing through his brains. What comes out on this record is every bit as natural as breathing, perfect as anything you'll hear this year. It's unassuming, enjoyable, and so American that you could run it up next to the flag on July 4th. So go on, you bastards, check your wallets and head out. You won't regret it. --Chris Nickson

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CD Reviews

Both feet in the groove
R. J MOSS | Alice Springs, Australia | 09/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'Music Is Just A Bunch Of Notes' wasn't exactly a hot item in 1972. Though the footnote to a rave review indicated it could be purchased through 'Sweet Jane Records', any responsive readership of the short-lived, radical rag(in Australia, The Nation Review) would have been unlikely to swell Spider's coffers. I was sad to admit at the decade's close that this gem was suffering terminal turntable damage. So, great news a quarter of a century later that Spider took the key songs from that collection, and travelled from Twin Cities to New Orleans to record with Willie Murphy & others what we have here packaged as, "Stargeezer". All seventeen tracks glove together with such aplomb you'd be forgiven for thinking you were hearing a set of accomplished first takes. Koerner's voice is not some exemplary instrument in a showcase way. But he inhabits these songs as truly, as dutifully, as lovingly as any troubadour worthy of the name. In the early 60s, also at Twin Cities, Dylan was eagerly acquiring his folk persona, absorbing the material that has remained the bedrock of Koerner's repetoir. Dylan revisited this legacy in the early 90s with two excellent, subdued 'roots' albums which received about the same acclaim as Koerner. No point in comparing the results pound for pound as if the men's ambitions also twinned. Koerner's songs fit him in a way that privileges the listener with the rare understanding of a sense of how the songs grew. The joyful ease & timelessness of this set is testament to the power travelling blues can ellicit. Koerner may not have circumnavigated the globe to the extent of Bob. However, there's no argument about the length & breadth of his inner journeys."
Troy | WI | 06/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have to admit I am purchasing this album based on the previews. However, I have seen Spider John twice live and the song segments I listened to sound just like the real thing. Spider played in a small bar in Bayfield, WI when I saw him and he is the most authentic musician I ever heard. He is very tall and thin and wears the work boots and flannel shirt of the working man. I have heard that he spent a chunk of his life hopping trains and living the life of a hobo. His songs have the rhythm of a train through them; they are written about interesting characters that we do not get to see in the modern world. Listening to Spider's music is authentic. It is special because it has been created by a life of experience. He is an individual in a world of music that all sounds the same."
Old School Folk
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 07/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"'StarGeezer' is a very nice little album from the same school of folk music which spawned Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, and so many others who started performing in the 1960s. The teachers at that school were Cisco Houston, Pete Seeger, and Ramblin Jack Elliot. The Dean and practitioner in chief was Woody Guthrie, who virtually invented modern American folk music.

Unlike Guthrie who mostly did his own songs and unlike Elliot, who mostly did Guthrie's songs and traditional material, Koerner gives us an excellent blend of traditional and original material, where little of the traditional is stuff we have heard on half a dozen other albums.

This CD encourages me to go back to my old vinyl and get another earful of Spider.

Very nice listening!"