Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat


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With song titles such as "Voodoo Light," "Black Magic Spell" and "Graveyard Train," on the surface this album seems more like an ode to Dr. John than anything else. Playing blues-based rock & roll, Jim Suhler's power trio melds Texas blues with '70s "cock-rock" to produce an old-fashioned guitar-driven album. Unfortunately, while Suhler's musicianship can't be called into question, his lyrics certainly can. The words to "Voodoo Light," for example, read like the script to a black-magic exploitation movie, throwing together every clich├ęd superstition known to man. And the other quasi-mystical songs aren't much of an improvement. Suhler has proven that he already has his guitar chops down; now he just needs to work on his pen.

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