Mick Hucknall, the voice of Simply Red, is best known as a soul man, but TRIBUTE TO BOBBY, an homage to the great blues singer Bobby “Blue” Bland, shows that his soul is steeped in the blues as well. Hucknall pays tribute by tackling the cream of Bland's repertoire, but instead of trying to recreate Bland's sound or arrangements, he uses them as a jumping-off point, funking up some tracks and adding percolating dance beats to others. “Farther Up The Road” is reborn with a jumping groove that wouldn't sound out of place on a Spinners record, for example, while “Stormy Monday Blues” gets a James Brown-goes-acid-jazz treatment. Even when the settings don't venture too far afield, though, Hucknall still brings something individual to the table.
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AllMusic Review by Jim Allen