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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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
feat: Canned Heat