Carey Bell

Second Nature

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    7
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Recorded on an off night during a European tour in 1991, this is a warts and all, no overdubs, unplugged session that captures the father and son duo at their most uninhibited. Basically, Carey and Lurrie Bell sat down in a studio in Kouvola, Finland, let the tapes roll for three hours, and this is the result. Why the finished product languished for 14 years in tour manager/co-producer Chip Covington's closet is unclear, but Alligator's long delayed yet welcome 2004 release shows the timeless quality of this deep Delta blues. The songs are sung by both guitarist son Lurrie and harpist dad Carey, and range from well-worn standards such as "Rock Me" (featuring a stunning acoustic guitar solo), "Key to the Highway," and "Five Long Years," to originals that follow established blues patterns. It's a relatively low-key performance, but the twosome show a natural affinity for each other. The result is a subtle, unhurried but not lethargic set. It sounds like the pair weren't aware that the final product would ever be released, which is likely the case. Both are fiery players but neither hog the spotlight, making this a particularly homey disc that will appeal to any fan of acoustic blues. The sound quality is so well defined it sounds like they are sitting in your room, which adds to the country-styled ambiance of this quiet gem.

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