Black Music Matters Festival

Bob Delevante

Columbus and the Colossal Mistake – 2006 (Relay)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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CDs by Bob Delevante

One of Bob Delevante's great gifts as a songwriter is his ability to write songs which are humorous and good-natured, but balance them with poignancy and truth so they never descend to mere novelty.

The title track is certainly light - it compares an accidental meeting with just the right woman to Columbus's discovery of America - but it's filled with such sincerity that you barely notice the frivolity. Even lighter, but equally engaging, is "Texarkana State of Mind." It appears on the album in two versions - one with a little jawharp mixed in, and the other with a lot of jawharp mixed in.

By contrast, "Venice is Sinking" is almost mournful, with a plaintive harmonica to underscore the message about inevitable ends. In "Like a Meadowlark Blues," Buddy Miller contributes a bluesy guitar line to a poetic track about the troubles of being a musician. Emmylou Harris adds her voice to the sweetly romantic "The Things I Long To Hear."As a final touch, a collection of black and white prints chosen from Delevante's photography portfolio are tucked into the CD case, complimenting an already excellent album.