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DAVID BROMBERG, Use Me—For those who may have only been introduced to Bromberg as the weary voiced country bluesman on his stirring (and Grammy nominated) 2007 comeback CD, Try Me One More Time, the bright-voiced, even youthful sounding singer on Use Me not only is really and truly David Bromberg, it’s a David Bromberg who sounds uncannily like his frizzy-maned ‘70s self while also playing some emotionally riveting blues guitar along the way and getting an injection of rockin’ pneumonia from the likes of Dr. John and Levon Helm. Verily, for a guy who put his recording career on ice for 17 years prior to releasing Try Me One More Time, it’s like he never left. Use Me is the finest album of his long and distinguished career.
JEFF GOLUB, The Three Kings—On his previous album, Blues for You, guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Golub broke away from the smooth jazz that has made him a household name in that world and dived into a harder-edged, classic urban blues sound. With his tribute to B.B., Freddie and Albert, The Three Kings, he completes a thoroughly successful artistic evolution and does right by the blues giants he and his mates honor herein.
LLOYD JONES, Highway Bound--Highway Bound, Lloyd Jones’s first new long player since 2003’s barnburning Triple Double cage match electric blues mayhem with Tommy Castro, Jimmy Hal and the Double Trouble nucleus of Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon and Reese Wynans, is a real treat for Jones’s fans and for the blues world in general.
JAMES JUSTIN & CO., Dark Country—The second communiqué from Folly Beach, SC’s James Justin Burke (billed with his band as James Justin & Co.), Dark Country only enhances the impression Burke made on last year’s debut album, Southern Son So Far, of being a songwriter scarily in tune with his own feelings and the turning of the earth.
CANDYE KANE, Sister Vagabond--Given all the hurdles she’s jumped and her good works offstage, it’s especially pleasing to report that Sister Vagabond, her 11th CD is simply her best yet, and at that one of the top big band blues albums of the year.