Fulfilling one’s lifelong dreams can be a satisfying thing that you can let issues of quality and market focus fall by the wayside in pursuit of the prize.
Cotton Field of Dreams, the debut album from long time sideman and studio player Albert Bashor is no doubt the culmination of many years of work and many miles traveled, achieved with help from respected friends with some gems and a few tracks that could have been left behind. The 14 songs are a mixture of blues, roots rock and acoustic pop, all featuring Bashor’s raspy southern inflected vocals, witty turn of a lyric and quirky storytelling.
“Jukin Down on Johnson Street” kicks off the album with flair as it cleverly shifts from a rumba to a shuffle while telling the story of being caught up in the spell of the blues. “Red Rockin Roster” follows with some hot barrel house piano from Little Feat’s Bill Payne, who guests on several tracks alongside sax man Ron Holloway–curious why they opted not to have drums on this track, which would have put it over the top.
Bashor then takes time out to tell the story behind his oddball funk tune “Poodle Ribs.” The story is funnier than the song. The strongest song on the album has to be the smooth swingin’ duet “So Blue” with guest vocalist Shay Jones, who plays the perfect foil to Bashor and his clean acoustic guitar. Rock guitar god Pat Travers lifts the off-the-cuff blues “Fetch Me,” to a highlight spot. That no doubt was a once in a lifetime jam session for Bashor and friends; they could have ended the album right there.