My initial thought when I saw Pearl’s album “Take Your Time” was less than enthused. Its artwork isn’t great looking and I’m proud to say that I do in fact judge cd’s by their covers before listening to them. I couldn’t keep myself from doing it if I tried, no more than one musician judges another work. You are wondering what that has to do with the music aren’t you? Without a solid and pleasing design you risk of a listen skipping over your album. The blues doesn’t enjoy the often-ridiculous radio play that the lesser genres do and so in many cases (outside of a gig where people are actively hearing the music they’d be buying), the design is the only way to bring attention to your album.
The music of “Take Your Time” turns out does not mirror its cover. The first track on the album Worried Life Blues is a duet with Barbara Morrison was nothing short of a treat. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. Pearl and Morrison’s chemistry and talent were clearly bolstered by the pairing.
What I found myself listening to was a wonderfully subdued blues album in a sea of over amplified, over produced … globidy gook. Yes it is subdued but it speaks volumes to Pearls history as a musician and how he views his craft. With respect and adoration he ply’s himself to each song. However, even the greatest artists with the most respect can have off moments, such is the way with some of the tracks on Take Your Time. What works very well for Worried Life Blues, Katie Mae, Kickstart and others works less well for Rock Me Momma, a song that deserves the energy of a nuclear reactor, or the mischievous and sly smile of a man or woman with no good on their mind.
There are instrumental gems on this album; they act as a palate refresher between tracks. It is clear from the start that Pearl intended to make an album and the album he made was the one he intended to. An effort such as this can often be a gamble for an artist but Pearl has been releasing albums on his own for some time now and his experience comes through as completely and smoothly as the guitar he picks from tune to tune. If he considers himself to be This Old Fool then we could all be so lucky to take note of his notes.
I can not say enough about how much I enjoyed what Pearl and crew did with a skeleton crew and self publishing. “Take Your Time” is one of the best examples I can think of that less is definitely more. The very best part of Take Your Time is that you can listen to it anytime, but especially when you’re winding down after a long day. This to me is the purpose of blues, comfort and enjoyment. There’s plenty of that to be had here. It’s a good album and a great acoustic album.