Michael Hill's Blues Mob

Have Mercy

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Michael Hill's primary attribute is his ambition. Where many contemporary bluesmen are content to turn out standard shuffles and boogies, he wants to bring it all together -- Hendrix blues-rock, Chicago blues, soul-blues, jazz and reggae. It's a difficult task, so it isn't entirely surprising that he and his band the Blues Mob don't quite achieve his dreams on his second album, Have Mercy!. What is surprising is how close they come. When Hill and the Blues Mob have everything working right, their music is a heady fusion with real passion and heart. These moments -- including "Women Make the World Go Round," "Africa in Her Name" and a reworking of "Stagolee" -- are powerful enough to make the failed fusions forgivable, and they suggest that Hill could develop into a distinctive talent in his own right.

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