Worried Spirits

Release Date: 07/24/2000 · Format: CD · Catalog-No: GR 501

Reissue of his solo album from `92, recorded in two days in a shed under the blazing sun of the Arizona desert, and featuring nothing but Rainer´s voice and 1933 National Steel guitar, it is an album of intimate, slow-burning intensity.

“The highlight is a setting of Langston Hughes´s poem `Life Is Fine´, so harrowing that it´s fully five seconds after the last note dies away that you dare draw another breath. An acoustic blues stylist like Skip James or a slightly less dexterous Robert Johnson, whereas most blue-eyed bluesmen tend to shout, Rainer has the troubled moan of the real thing. Spare, sad and at the end of his tether, this album showcases more than just a scholar of the old-time religion making the right moves but one who has really got under the skin of the blues.” (Mat Snow/Q)

„...he applies the methods of Robert Johnson or Skip James to modern times, exhibiting a dedication to the archaic that renders the usual questions of white-boy blues authenticity quite meaningless... Rainer´s nervy, David Byrne-esque vocals and raw slide-guitar style aren´t draped on ambient production, remaining instead as stark and spare as classic delta blues.“ (The Independent)

„His touch is eerily authetic: a finger-picking country blues style that clanks and drifts out of time, intercut with a steel tube glissandi that soars like hope on the wings of a dove. In this regards, the 15 songs are haunted by the dusty, howling spirit of Robert Johnson.“ (The Times)

“His formative experience of migration to Chicago mirrors that of many of his blues heroes, but this man is an original talent. His voice is straight out of the Bob Dylan/David Byrne school of white boy neurosis, and his eerie arrangements of standards such as Robert Johnson´s `Crossroads´ and Willie Nelson´s `Time Slips Away´ wring new resonance from well-worked material. He writes his own gently affecting songs, too… The resulting `Worried Spirits´ is parched and beautiful – the true song of the desert.” (The Independent on Sunday)

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1. Powder Keg
2. Limit To It
3. Opening Aunt Dora`s Box In 6/8
4. New World
5. Long Long Way To The Top Of The World
6. Losing Ground
7. Life Is Fine
8. Worried Spirits
9. Tasted Better Going Down
10. Waves Of Sorrow
11. Stone`s Throw Away
12. The River Of Real Time
13. Poor Backslider
14. Funny How Time Slips Away
15. Ain`t Givin` Up