Neal: "Bayou Blood"
future of Baton Rouge swamp blues lies squarely in multi-instrumentalist
Kenny Neal's capable hands. Along with a select few
others (Larry Garner, for one), the second-generation
southern Louisiana bluesman is entirely cognizant of
the region's venerable blues tradition and imaginative
enough to steer it in fresh directions -- as his albums
for Alligator, Telarc, and Blind Pig Records confirm.
You really can't go wrong with any of the guitarist's
fine Alligator albums, but this one sparkles as brightly
as any, with memorable outings like "Right Train,
Wrong Track," "That Knife Don't Cut No More,"
and the steamy title track. Kenny Neal's albums are
invariably dominated by well-chosen originals -- no
small feat these days." ~ www.allmusic.com
Loomis: "Kickin' It"
Texas guitarist Hamilton Loomis' first disc for Blind
Pig, Kickin' It, is a mixed bag of modern blues, modern
funk, and slick soul. As a young man getting started in
the blues, Loomis was mentored by Lone Star State legends
Albert Collins, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown,
and Johnny Copeland. He seems proud to use those names
in interviews and press releases, and rightfully so! You
sense he is genuinely honored to have been taken under
the wing of these elder statesmen. So, it comes as a bit
of a surprise in the Kickin' It liner notes when Loomis
brags, "This ain't yo' Grandpa's blues record,"
and how he's going to take "blues out of the box."
If you associate Loomis' mentors with "grandpa's
blues record," you probably won't get much enjoyment
from Kickin' It." ~ www.allmusic.com