Angels in Exile

Scott Holt

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Angels in Exile Review

by Rob Ferrier

Longtime Buddy Guy sideman Scott Holt certainly doesn't suffer from a lack of talent. He's got the voice, the chops, and the look to be the next "great white hope" of the blues world. What Holt lacks is direction. This album is full of bristling guitar work and strong vocal stylings. What's missing is a sense of identity. Holt rips through a selection of house-rockers and choice cover songs without ever letting the listener know what exactly should separate Holt from the packs of wannabes in his wake. Most of the songs are penned by Scott with a few notable exceptions, including a cover of Dylan's "Blind Willie McTell." There maybe is the problem. That particular song has been done to death in recent years. Holt's first album was more adventurous. The standout song on that collection was probably the Clash's "Train in Vain." That sort of musical adventurousness promised strong things from this performer. This album, alas, doesn't deliver on that promise. All is not lost, however. Holt's voice is strong, and listeners will probably find themselves humming the title track some hours later. Hopefully, his next record will put his talents to better use.

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