Eddie Turner

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It's the blues, Jim, but not as we immediately recognize it. Eddie Turner, who plays lead guitar with iconoclastic bluesman Otis Taylor, has an album that turns equally to rock and funk as it does to blues. And on "Sin," he simply turns in one of the most stunning pieces of gospel heard in years -- stripped-down, but with touches of hip-hop that offers a real way forward into the 21st century for the genre. "Confusion Illusion" is blues-funk -- quite a feat for a trio of guitar, bass, and drums (with some overdubbed keys), while "Gangster of Love" takes Johnny "Guitar" Watson's tune out for a Saturday night party. The thing is, Turner is equally adept wherever he turns his hand, whether it's the dark atmospherics of "Secret" or his remarkable cover of "The Wind Cries Mary," which completely re-imagines the song, even as Turner does a nigh-on perfect Hendrix vocal impersonation. With this disc (and thanks to impressive production from bandmate Kenny Passarelli and some incredible drumwork from Mark Clark) Turner makes a very agile leap from sideman to exceptional frontman.

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