An acoustic reimagining of modern blues
Fantastic Negrito is perfect for those who wonder how an old genre like blues fits into today’s
society. Grandfather Courage is a continued, acoustic version of White Jesus Black Problems, as previously released by the artist. This project takes almost all of its songs from its predecessor and replaces the driving tones with an earthier, acoustic demeanor. The results are airy, refreshing and unbelievably real in the sense that the musicians feel legitimately present when the music is playing. The production, instrumental arrangement and performance has an
extremely live feel to the point in which it can be transportive.
One of the most interesting things about Grandfather Courage would be its blisteringly human
story. Upon consulting an ancestry website, Fantastic Negrito learned that his seventh generation grandparents were an enslaved Black man and a white Scottish indentured servant named Elizabeth Gallimore. These themes are prevalent in both Grandfather Courage and White Jesus Black Problems, but the acoustic format of Grandfather Courage certainly allows for a more open, in-depth look at the lyrics and storyline. Fantastic Negrito commentates on issues such as racism, social status, capitalism, humanity and freedom.
His latest project has been highly curated, well thought out and literally a sequel edition of something already released. This album has the key components of great art within it. It is intelligent, soulful and vulnerable. It touches on topics close to the artist’s heart and contains deep, rich history. The tracks unravel with intention, taking the listener on a journey as each minute passes.
The album opens up with “Drifting Away,” an airy, psychedelic track that highlights the beauty
of freedom. Despite the blues feel, this track can’t help but have a slightly 60’s rock sound
in the looseness of it all. This space is then immediately juxtaposed with “Locked Down,” which
speaks on freedom being taken away, presenting a more tight, restricted feel in its sound.
“Highest Bidder” is perhaps one of the most powerful tracks on this project as it delivers that
concise “hit song” sound that many gravitate towards. The beat flows effortlessly and calls for
dancing. Fantastic Negrito’s vocal delivery is mostly smooth but percussive at times too. This
crisp, rhythmic way of inflecting certain sounds delivers a promising, catchy energy.
Grandfather Courage is an intuitive, layered piece of art that meshes blues and folk elements
together seamlessly. These parts are glued together with a contemporary finish that ensures for a wholesome listening experience through all 11 tracks.