I’ve been waiting for a Ralph White blues album since I first heard his fiddle scratch, and here she is. KVRX was trying to book a blues show once, sorta fell through, and I asked Ralph if he could work up an appropriate set. “Sure, the blues is everywhere.” Here’s the proof. The record kicks off with a characteristically surreal version of Guthrie’s “Pastures of Plenty”, a traveler’s blues, light of the moon, leaving the cities and picking the proverbial fruit. Ralph then fiddles, kalimbas, guitars and banjos his way to a wormhole and takes us through it, back to the land of scorched Stratocasters, Chess Records and beyond, stabbing at Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful”, Hendrix’ “Voodoo Child”, and Lighthin’ Hopkins’ (or any number of other bluesmen’s) “Blues in the Bottle.” Ralph pulls the heart right out of these songs, sets it before you still beating as if some ritual, some primitive transmission of the songs’ birthplaces. All of these songs are (as usual) complete gems of restyled and reinvented folk song, but the Daddy Stovepipe-penned track “Stove Pipe Blues” really digs into the essence of this record. One can’t help but be reminded of Ralph himself in Stovepipe’s story, an Alabama-to-Mexico transplant who played in Mariachis early on, toured with minstrel shows, bussed around Chicago as a one-man band, and dabbled with Cajun music in Texas. Recommended for times when sounds are jigsaw puzzles, or always.