Friday, May 13, 2011

CW Ayon

What CW Ayon does is not new, the idea of the one-man band dates back to the 13th Century, here in the U.S. it had its heyday during the great depression. It's an ensemble favored by buskers around the world, but CW ain't no busker, he's the real deal, the man was born to sing and play the blues. The best description for what he plays would be the Gila Delta Blues, Cooper Ayon hails from Reserve in the pine top country of western New Mexico, but his place of birth is of no consequence. 

He has the old soul of  a Delta Bluesman and the heart of a lion, he takes the stage alone, using a foot pedal to operate the kick and snare drums set in front of him.  His guitar playing and vocals are primal, seemingly driven by the desire to stay one step ahead of that mythical hellhound of yore. CW has trailblazed his own blues circuit, playing anywhere in S.W. New Mexico with paying customers and enough room to pack 'em in. CW Ayon hits towns and venues that even politicians might skip over, Sparky's in Hatch, Starmax in Deming, The Buffalo Bar in Silver City. 

Ayon has become a favorite at The Silver City Blues Festival, he's appeared at the Annual Deep Blues Festival in Minneapolis (it's like SXSW for delta blues fanatics)  His grassroots effort to get the word out has paid off, making him the most recognized and acclaimed musician in this part of the state.  When you're the seventh son of a seventh son, born on the seventh day of the seventh month, you don't have time to wait for record labels to come to their senses and sign you. CW has three self released albums out, all are critically acclaimed and each one has helped him expand his fan base across the country and even to Australia.
His debut album "Gone" was released in 2008, it's hotter than fucking uranium and so raw it almost bleeds out of the speakers.  The album instantly drew favorable comparisons, to The White Stripes and The Black Keys.  His second album "Is What it Is" came out in 2010 and was inspired by the experience of playing at the Deep Blues Festival. CW draws inspiration from the delta blues of R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough, it's a sound soaked in muddy water and filtered through the smokey haze of countless juke joints. CW's most recent album "Ain't No Use in Moving" released in 2011, shows him refining his music while stretching out to include cover songs which he deftly shapes to fit his style. 

 Ayon also appears on  "These Are My Blues: A Tribute to Big Joe Williams" a compilation album released by Stobie Store of Adelaide, South Australia. CW Ayon's contribution to the album is "Throw a Boogie Woogie"  a song that gets the blood flowin' and which led the writer for Stobie Store to gush with excitement: "Sweet dang daddy what a great way to wake up!"

I know CW has been called "The desert borne bastard son of The White Stripes  and The Black Keys." However, he is in the fact the soul of Robert Johnson cycled back to this mortal earth, forced to pay penance by playing in a one man band till he's called back home to Mississippi.  

Blues Music has always been about searching for answers, blues men were tossing around theories like existentialism, mysticism and even satanism at a time when popular music was still in it's infancy. The blues touch a nerve in all of us, we all get sad and struggle to cope with life and the world around us. Blues singers figured out long ago that music soothes the worried mind.

So, as fate would have it, I found myself  standing at the crossroads at midnight. (Columbus & Florida in Deming) However, I'm not waiting for the devil to sell him my soul, I just want an answer: How can such an archaic, novelty technique sound so relevant and modern?  In a flash of fire and smoke, the Old Devil himself suddenly appears before me, he sneers, then replies to my inquiry: "Ultimately, the limits of a one man band are defined only by the energy and talent of the solo artist, and this sumofabitch has that in spades, go see him in concert, it'll change your life!"