With his new single “3220 Blues,” the first track on his upcoming Real Trap Blues EP, Neck Barham takes the notion that the blues is a finite universe and blows it clean out of the water. His dynamic cross-pollination of pre-war blues and 21st Century trap beats makes for a sonically infectious and potent combination as addictive as any traditional blues record.
“There’s a whole host of early blues songs with the name 32-20,” he explains. “Robert Johnson’s version is the most famous, and that’s what my lyrics are modeled on. 32-20 as a term is very much within the early blues tradition. At its most basic level it’s the name of a specific Winchester, but, moving beyond that, it’s about the idea of murdering someone you love. It can be dark or controversial, but it’s fair to say pretty much every single pre-war blues artist had that in their catalog. Especially the women; there are probably more songs where women sing about killing their husbands than the other way around.”
While “3220 Blues” more than capably conjures up the haunting vibes that inhabit so much of the pre-war blues canon, the infusion of trap spins everything on its head and adds a new dimension just unsettling enough to add emphasis without overwhelming the pure blues core.
“To me, the blues is that uneasy feeling you get when you’re alone at night and something just isn’t right. It explores and romanticizes that thin line between good and evil. Although there’s about a hundred year gap between early blues and trap music, the two genres complement each other brilliantly and share a similar ethos. My mission is to use the modern attraction of trap music to resurrect the ghosts of blues.”