Eric Jerardi Band

Restless

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Coming five years after his last album, 2002's Virtual Virtue, Eric Jerardi returns with the stripped-down, live in the studio Restless. Unfussy white-boy blues-rock in the Texas style (think vintage Fabulous Thunderbirds), Jerardi and his newly augmented backing band, now featuring organist Al Gamble alongside his usual rhythm section of drummer Joe Prescott and bassist Jon Arnold, deliver a solid if unspectacular set of original tunes. A more than adequate lead guitarist who's hampered by an anonymous bar band singing voice and a somewhat limited talent for songwriting, Jerardi is at his best on his extended solos, but those are spaced out by the relative drabness and lack of originality in the tunes themselves. Jerardi's respect for the blues masters is evident throughout Restless, so much so that it seems that perhaps an album of some of his more obscure favorite old blues songs that he and his band could really let loose on would be a more consistently exciting listen than the relentlessly polite, pop-oriented material on display here.

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