Reviewed by Tom Lennie
(www.raginggrace.com) Recorded in New England in 2002, this album has only recently winged its way to the CR offices in Old England! This is the fourth release from the trio known as Raging Grace since they formed over a decade ago. Regularly gigging at coffee-houses and outdoor festivals, the band has built up quite a following. Describing themselves as "guitar-driven rock steeped in the blues; the message is pure gospel", the 14 diverse tracks on offer here hold your attention from start to finish (a full hour's worth). Led by the clear, finely-honed vocals of Stephen Bell (who looks like he just walked out of ZZ Top!), virtually all songs are soaked thoroughly in the blues. But there's plenty of variety, from the gutsy, blistering "Heads Up", to the fun, celebratory "Good To Me" and "Married Man Shuffle" (with its funky horn section), to the laid-back trad-blues sounds of "No Room At The Inn" and "Flood Plain". Then there's tracks like "Flying To The Foot" and "Light Me Up", which are pure rock'n'roll, plus a new edge to the old hymn "Nothing But The Blood". The lyrics are interesting, gospel-inspired and non-cliched and the musicianship is first rate (check those guitar licks!). It all makes for amongst the best Christian blues I've heard. If you like the bluesy tones of Tony Loeffler or Glenn Kaiser (a friend of these guys), then I can guarantee you'll go wild over this!
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