STYLE: Blues RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2644-520 LABEL: Forefront FFD3013 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £6.12
Reviewed by James Tweed
It's appropriate that with the recent blues renaissance as practised by its white Southern exponents The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynrd and Blues Traveller it should finally be the turn of fellow Southerner and former Grinderswitch guitarist Larry Howard (remember the old John Peel theme tune "Pickin' The Blues"?) to make the blues album he has been promising to for years. Taking his cue from the 'blues-lite' style that has proved so successful for Gary Moore and Steve Miller in recent years, Howard has produced an infectious album that unashamedly and seamlessly blends the gospel and the blues in a way that is neither patronising nor pietistic. Standout tracks include a retelling of Jesus' parable of the wedding feast, "Dancin' At The Wedding Ball", and Rez frontman and co-producer Glenn Kaiser's "I Found Out". The album's success is due in part to Howard being surrounded by seasoned blues musicians, especially Hammond organist Chris 'Hambone' Cameron and a steaming five-man horn section assembled by veteran Chicago arranger Tom Tom Washington (Earth, Wind And Fire, Phil Collins, the Chi-Lites). But the musical icing on this particular cake has to be the rather tasty finger-picking fretwork and the lived-in gravelly vocals of Larry Howard himself. 'Bright Side Of The Blues' is exactly what it says - an excellent and upbeat album that deserves to be in any blues devotee's record collection. A radio-friendly recording, it deserves much radio exposure. So how about it, Paul Jones?
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