Trudy Lynn / Steve Krase

Royal Oaks Blues Café

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Trudy Lynn gives harpist Steve Krase a starring role on Royal Oaks Blues Café and he does indeed shine throughout this 2013 album. He offers subtle support, sometimes slipping in to accentuate her verses, then he takes center stage for slippery, supple solos that bring a bit of Chicago to Lynn's Texas blues. Such casual bending of genre boundaries is one of the appealing things about Lynn's latter-stage career: she's absorbed all the shifts in soul-blues styles since the '60s, so she can slide between sounds with ease. There are rollicking roadhouse rockers like "Red Light" here but what gives this album such personality are the digressions into mellow, rolling soul ("Feel It"), funky R&B stomps ("Down in Memphis"), and even a sojourn into the Delta by way of Jimmy Reed ("Whip It to a Jelly"). Lynn is a master of every one of these sounds and so is Krase, so it's a pleasure to hear them enjoy each other's company.

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