Steve Hackett

Blues With a Feeling

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A blues album by prog rocker and classically trained guitarist Steve Hackett? It may seem a bit of a surprise, but as Hackett himself explains, his first musical affinity was for the blues, and his first instrument of choice was the harmonica, not the guitar. So he returns to his roots on this release, unknown as they are to most of his audience. Most of the songs are original compositions, and the tunes are well written. Hackett plays a mean harmonica throughout, and shines in particular on a couple of instrumental numbers, "A Blue Part of Town" and "Footloose" (mercifully not the Kenny Loggins song). Hackett sings lead vocals on the other songs, and unfortunately his voice just doesn't lend much conviction to blues material, even though it's treated to sound much deeper and grittier. Anyone who's heard Taj Mahal's version of the title track, a blues standard, will only smile at Hackett's weaker attempt. Perhaps he should have called the album "Blues with No Feeling." Definitely for completists only.

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