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Michael Powers

Prodigal Son

(Baryon; US: 17 Oct 2006; UK: 9 Oct 2006)

This begins with the sound of an unusually fiercely rocking blues band, diving in, driving, sounding nothing like they were “Going Down”, even as the ensemble sing that title phrase through the final bars. The fire would have been envied by those young Englishmen who produced much that sort of thing (the earliest Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton). “White Lightnin’” is in a James Brown vein without brass. The intro on “Wild Side” has suggestions of early Muddy Waters, with something between a gong and a drum tolling in accompaniment, and mandolining guitar a la Buddy Guy fanclub. “Every Grain of Sand” is nearer Hendrix, “Lay the Hooch” has good ole rock’n'roll piano, and the East Coast African-American’s raucous melancholy is old Stones, as is “You Got to Go Down”, with its two apparently acoustic guitars (the blurb mentions Gary Davis). The more thoughtful aspect of that performance is missing elsewhere on this set. “Train Kept A-Rollin’” also echoes older blues, guitars acoustic, though the vocal does rather charge ahead. Excitement, short on relaxation

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