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Guitar Shorty

Bare Knuckle

(Alligator; US: 2 Mar 2010; UK: 1 Mar 2010)

Guitar Shorty (David Kearney) still does what he’s done for 50 years, which means that his new album, Bare Knuckle, is worth a listen. He plays and sings like an angry young man, and cuts like “Please Mr. President” (a request for “some stimulus”) strikes a nice balance between a sneer and a wink. For the most part, the album offers fans of the electric blues (think Albert King and maybe Buddy Guy) and blues-rock exactly what they need, but that’s both good and bad. While the album provides an enjoyable listen, it doesn’t break new ground. Arguably, that’s fine. The album has some memorable songs and some great execution in performance, and that might be enough. A record doesn’t have to be a landmark recording to scratch a certain itch.

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Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including Stylus, Paste, Chord, and Trouser Press. His work made its first appearance on CD with the release of Todd Goodman's first symphony, Fields of Crimson. He's recently co-founded the literary fly-fishing journal Rise Forms.


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