John Dee Holeman: You Got to Lose $12.00

"John Dee Holeman has been playing the Country/Blues of the Carolinas for decades, and at nearly 80 years old, he still brings more energy and spirit to his music than most musicians half his age. Not only does 'You Got To Lose, You Can’t Win All The Time' showcase John’s talents, it does so in a way that brings new life and vigor to his material. It just goes to show, that which was old, can be made new again." -Richard Marcus, Blogcritics

In "You Got To Lose, You Can’t Win All The Time", John is backed by a full band, and a slew of special guests adding finishing touches to his music that range from Wurlitzer solos to pedal steel guitar fills...

Producer Zeke Hutchins has taken the same amount of care working with these songs as an art restorer would take working on a masterpiece. He never once lets any of the additions do anything but augment John Dee’s voice and playing, or accentuate the distinctiveness of his style. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the key musicians include the president of the foundation, Tim Duffy, on acoustic guitar, and core Music Maker players like Cool John Ferguson on electric guitar, and Jay Brown on bass.

Anytime you get a group of like minded people together working on a project you know the results stand a good chance of being special, and that’s the case here. Take the three traditional songs that John arranged for this recording; “Early Letter Blues.” “One Black Rat” and “John Henry.” I’ve heard other people record versions of these songs before, heck I’ve heard John do versions of “John Henry” and “One Black Rat” before, but I’ve never heard them performed so they sound as alive as they do on this disc. The addition of mandolin and fiddle, plus harmonizing from Ellen Stevenson and Taz Halloween, on “One Black Rat” fills out the sound in such a way that it adds another dimension to the song while still allowing it to maintain its core identity. -Richard Marcus John Dee has been influencing musicians for decades in and around his home of Durham, North Carolina. Zeke has since pursued a life in music and has spent years drumming for alt-country star Tift Merritt. It was at one of Tift's sold out concerts at the Raleigh Museum of Art that Zeke invited John Dee to open. Cool John, Zeke, Jay and myself joined him on that sultry July night and the music was electrifying. Soon after, Zeke approached John Dee in producing him a new CD supported by many of the young musicians that he inspired.

John Dee thanks Zeke for taking his traditional blues to a new place where John's voice and guitar soar, letting us know what the blues is all about. -Tim Duffy

Track Listing
1 Two Trains Runnin'
2 Mojo Hand
3 Early Letter Blues
4 Ain't Gonna Worry, My Life Anymore
5 One Black Rat
6 Three O'clock in the Morning Blues
7 John dee Jam
8 Hootchie Coochie Man
9 You Got to Lose, You Can't Win All the Time
10 John Henry

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