Corey Stevens

Bring on the Blues

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Guitarist, composer, and singer Corey Stevens has formal training in classical guitar, but on the opening track of his fourth album he really sounds as if he majored in Stevie Ray Vaughan -- everything is there, from the distinctively adenoidal singing style to the heavyweight Texas-style blues licks. By the second track he's cutting his own path, though, with a highly satisfying slab of roots rock entitled "Hang On" (and, interestingly, a completely different vocal approach). And he continues to explore subtly different modes of expression throughout the album, never going anywhere that a fan of eclectic blues wouldn't be willing to follow, but never settling into a completely predictable groove, either. "Crazy and Blue" features a guitar solo that sounds like Robert Fripp channeling Freddie King; "You're Gonna Miss Me" reminds listeners how fun 12/8 time can be; and the album's emotional centerpiece, "Something I Can't Do," is both despairing and defiant, in a heartbreaking sort of way: "In my darkest hour, I could never do the things you do," Stevens sings, and there's something about the way that common sentiment is phrased that just catches you off guard. Nice stuff.

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