Home Read Albums Of The Week: Robert Connely Farr | Pandora Sessions

Albums Of The Week: Robert Connely Farr | Pandora Sessions

Off the floor, off the cuff & off the chain: The B.C. bluesman opens a deadly box of whoopass, channeling the haunted, gritty menace of his Hill Co. heroes & mentors.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “This album is dedicated to the great Mississippi Big Blues Mane — RL Boyce, a friend and mentor,” says Vancouver singer-guitarist Robert Connely Farr. “He recently passed away after a bout with cancer. May he rest in peace.

“These sessions were modeled after our time down in Bentonia playing with Jimmy “Duck” Holmes and RL Boyce — you set up, start playing and the songs come. Sure, there’s covers and traditionals, but the magical part of those nights are the grooves that show up that weren’t written yet. That’s what this album is, all unwritten / unrehearsed material that originated from us just sitting down to play. We are very interested in capturing the song at its point of origin.

“We didn’t have much, just some vintage mics / amps — we did the best we could with what we had at the time. This ain’t no big time studio / record label / lots of money kind of album. This is a show up at the juke joint, plug the f^*k in & get to work kind of album.

Photo by Tyler McLeod.

“Gratitude to (drummer) Jay Bundy Johnson for literally making this happen — he set up, tracked and mixed the whole thing. Jay was a critical part of the legendary Canadian alt-country outfit The Blue Shadows and worked with Billy Cowsill for over a decade. This new album Pandora Sessions is all him, from conception to the final product — even the cover photo. He’s been with Canadian legends like Herald Nix and the late Mac Pontiac for the last 20 years and he’s been with me for 15. He’s always been a critical part of what we do and a huge encouragement for me to follow my heart.”

Farr is a critically acclaimed songwriter who is originally from Bolton, Miss. (hometown of blues legends like Charley Patton, Sam Chatmon, Bo Carter and Walter Vinson) and currently resides in Vancouver. Since 2017, cherished elder Mississippi bluesman Jimmy “Duck” Holmes has been mentoring Farr in the Bentonia style of Delta Blues, an obscure sound that Holmes learned directly from Henry Stuckey, who also taught Skip James, among others. Farr has also studied under Mississippi bluesmen RL Boyce & Terry “Harmonica” Bean.

In 2019 Farr was nominated for New Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year by Canada’s prestigious Maple Blues Awards. His albums have been met with widespread critical acclaim. His songs have been used on Netflix, Lifetime and SYFY on shows like Snowpiercer and Resident Alien. Pandora Sessions is his 11th album.”


Photo by Tyler McLeod.
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