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Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, Which Way Is Texas? (Rounder/Bullseye)
Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets are a band that everyone should have a bit of now and again. Their sound is extremely good-natured, with a steady good-time feel that becomes downright addictive. Funderburgh seems to filter his blues through the bounce of rockabilly and consistently pours out punchy, tasteful guitar work. He hooked up with Sam Myers 20 years ago and they've been playing together ever since, obviously loving every minute of it. Myers ("The Deacon of the Delta") is considered to be one of his generation's greats, having recorded early on with Elmore James. Handling harp and lead vocal chores, Myers can likely coax an upbeat view of the world from nearly any blues standard. He plays a fine harp, too. There are too many good songs on this set to even list except as liner notes. Given an assist by the Texas Horns, the band churns out a tremendous cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Trying to Get Back on My Feet". But not to be overlooked is "Don't Turn This Child Away from Heaven". After hearing this album, my one dream: I want to hear them play live.