As the lead guitarist for Captain Beefheart’s creatively fertile final years as a recording artist in the early ‘80s on such late era milesstones as Doc at the Radar Station and Ice Cream for Crow, Gary Lucas is fully aware of how far one can stretch the blues. And the man formerly known as Mantis as part of that last proper incarnation of the almighty Magic Band once again tests the boundaries of the genre with Chase the Devil, a kinetic, avant-garde meditation on fire-and-brimstone gospel blues alongside fellow Downtown New York luminary Dean Bowman. Across these dozen compositions, this imaginative duo delivers a fiery, contortionist twist on the tent revival hymnal, albeit for a congregation that meets at the hallowed grounds of the old Knitting Factory site instead of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
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