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Mary Flower: Bywater Dance

A Piedmont-style finger-style virtuoso, Flower adds engaging, crystal clear vocals to the compelling mix on this encounter in May 2005 at Piety Street Studios with some of the Crescent City’s finest, including trumpeter Charlie Miller, pianist Jon Cleary, accordion player Amasa Miller, sousaphone aces Kirk Joseph and Matt Perrine and pianist Henry Butler.

Flower sings sweetly on “Blues My Naughty Sweety Gives to Me,” then turns in a stellar slide-guitar performance on her instrumental romp “Raise the Devil,” which features Cleary’s rolling piano work. Her six-string work on the instrumental numbers “La Grippe” (a duet with bassist Kerry Lewis) and “Terminal Rag” (a duet with clarinetist Dr. Michael White) are dazzling. Her mournful “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?,” accompanied by clarinetist Tim Laughlin, trombonist Craig Klein and trumpeter Miller, is an emotional high point while her engaging instrumental “Hudson River Rag” recalls Leo Kottke at his most giddy. And for deep blues, look no further than “Nobody’s Fault but Mine,” which is underscored by Henry Butler’s barrelhouse piano.

Originally Published