Baby Gramps is an amazing amalgamation of everything that anybody’s ever heard including Mississippi John Hurt, Uncle Dave Macon, Charlie Patton, Blind Blake, Captain Beefheart, the Tuvan Throat Singers and Popeye. Baby Gramps has created a highly developed and completely original musical concoction that is easily the most intriguing synthesis to come out of the roots revival of the late 20th Century. He plays beautifully “betwixt the cracks in the piano” a la Ornette Coleman, can scat the blues three notes at once, and has invented his own guitar technique he calls “scribbling”. Gramps does amazing tricks with timing, timbre, tempo and pitch that no one can hope to imitate, and reinvents himself nightly, never performing a song the same way twice
His performances on “Rogue’s Gallery” (Anti), a two-disc set of sea chanteys produced by Hal Willner, are among the album’s best, and that’s saying a lot: among the other contributors are Sting, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Bono, Bryan Ferry, Nick Cave, Van Dyke Parks and Bill Frisell.
- Ben Ratlif, The New York Times