Home  |  Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News     

Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
B.B. Driftwood
Southward Bound

Review By Phil Gold


  B.B. Driftwood may sound like one of Groucho Marx's many characters, but this new CD is nothing to laugh at. A singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist, Driftwood has strung together a dozen numbers for his Southward Bound debut CD, and covers a wide variety of musical styles into the bargain. He conjures up Tom Waits, Taj Mahal, Keb' Mo', Bill Frisell and late period Dylan, while suffusing Cuban/Brazilian rhythms, fine gospel singing and superb musicianship into the mix. The title track "Southward Bound" is a strong powerful number that lets you know at once you are in safe hands. His tuneful, bluesy voice is set against unusual chord progressions and top notch percussion form Sebastian Notini on atabaque, brushes and snare drum. Backing vocals from Paris Renita, Sylver Logan Sharp and Daryl Hunt add to the fun and match the standards of the best Leonard Cohen productions. There's a fine mixture of relaxed but focussed drive to propel the nostalgic lyrics along – no use complainin' 'bout flooded roads and trains that don't run, Got to slow down my mind and wait for the sun.

To these ears the most successful tracks are the up-tempo numbers. "Sweet Elizabeth" has more than a hint of zydeco to it. I love the way he stops the music periodically to pause for effect, then jumps back in to complete the thought. The guitar picking is first rate. On this track alone, B.B. sings and plays Dobro, banjo, mandola, brushes, brooms, shakers and carnival drum. He is ably assisted by Staffan Astner on acoustic guitar, John Lindström on lap steel, Max Schultz on octave guitar and Sven Lindvall on upright bass. He uses ten different musicians in various combinations on the CD, and the standards are high all round.

My top pick is track 5, "A Way To Celebrate". This is a way to celebrate the sweet contentment that comes from sitting down listening to people you believe are true. These are not your everyday lyrics, but words of wide experience and contemplation, set to music that will sing in your ears for days. If you've watched the first season of The Wire you may be minded of Wait's "Way Down in the Hole" as performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama. Yes, it's that good. I'm also struck by "Strange How Things Can Turn Around" where Driftwood is assisted by none other than Eric Bibb on 12-stringed guitar. The acoustic is really warm here in this great blend of gospel, guitars and tight rhythms. Driftwood does his best Otis Redding impression on "Love Must Prevail" then rounds out the album with a mix of country and Hawaiian music, the last track "Aliki Moonlight" being the only instrumental on the disc.

Who is B.B. Driftwood? Would you believe Bengt Skogholt! His biography includes a godfather in Cuba, filming in Africa, recording with Olle Romo and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, and experience playing with local musicians in the Caribbean and South America. B.B., or should I say Bengt, wrote all the music on this album, produced the CD and mixed it with Jan-Eric Persson. Saving the best till last, did I tell you this is a superb SACD recording from Sweden's audiophile label, Opus 3? A quick test shows the DSD layer to be significantly more rewarding than the Redbook, the image more spacious, the definition higher and the experience more relaxing. So not only is the rather short disc chock full of sweet music, but with the right equipment you get to hear it just as it was laid down.





Sound Quality:












































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2022
Florida Audio Expo 2022
AudioCon Los Angeles 2022
Capital Audiofest 2021 Show
The HiFi Summit Q2 2021
T.H.E. Show 2021 Report
The HiFi Summit Q4 2020
The HiFi Summit Q2 2020
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2020
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2022  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.