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Michael Burks

Iron Man

(Alligator; US: 8 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

Blues guitarist Michael Burks has nothing to prove really given his work, but he still is able to make the blues fresh with a style that instantly recalls the likes of classic B.B. King, a pinch of Buddy Guy and a whole heap of Robert Cray. Burks has the weight in terms of his voice and guitar work to make “Love Disease” shine throughout. Meanwhile, “Strange Feeling” is a slower, meatier number that is pure old-school blues rock. He also revisits this flavor of blues with “No More Crying”, a simple but strong effort featuring some fine work by keyboardist Wayne Sharp. Burks slows things down further with a tender, heart-felt and solo-fueled “Empty Promises” which has him showing his chops yet again during the bridge. It’s not over the top but definitely leaves the listener wanting a bit more. The influences of Albert King and Albert Collins are also quite apparent during the song. Burks is at his most soulful on the tender, groovy “Don’t Waste My Time” while “Quiet Little Town” again has Sharp tickling the ivories through this barroom or roadhouse blues ditty. Burks executes the homestretch just as lovely, with the rather gore-tinged titled “Icepick Through My Heart” again showing his “woman done me wrong” side yet again.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


Tagged as: iron man | michael burks
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