American Descendant of Slavery is a new album from Chicago-based singer-songwriter, Terry Blade. This epic release features a whopping 19 tracks. Amalgamating a range of styles like R&B, soul and folk, the songs explore cultural, racial and social themes from an African-American perspective. What makes this album particularly unique is that it utilizes genuine audio recordings of former African-American slaves (and their descendants), which were obtained from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. These narrative snippets and monologues give the album a powerfully sincere quality, making this work not only an as avant garde musical project but as something for the historical record.
The music itself is both haunting and inspiring. Terry Blade conveys a very real sense a pain (with songs like Black Hurts) that reverberates throughout, but there is also sensitivity and promise in his voice. His artfully passionate and honest vocals combine with groovy, mellow and exotic instrumentals for a fresh sound. Yet, the recordings also have a classic, minimalist feel to them. With the analog vibes and intimate presentation, at times this is like listening to an old soul or folk record. The narrative stories are fascinating, while the backing music enhances their delicate sentimentality. Ultimately, this is a very engaging work of art. American Descendant of Slavery is scheduled for an official release of February 5th.
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