Omar Coleman

Born & Raised

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Omar Coleman makes his Delmark debut with 2015's Born & Raised, a lively collection of straight-ahead Chicago blues. At 42, Coleman is among the Windy City's young guard and, accordingly, he adds a heavier dose of soul-funk to his blues than some Chicago standard-bearers: witness "Sit Down Baby," which bears a heavy disco-fied backbeat, or the slow-burning "I Was a Fool," which could almost slide onto late-night quiet storm playlists. He's soulful enough of a singer to pull this off without a hitch but he's best when the blues get a little down and dirty, allowing him to really belt out his vocals and tear into his harp. These moments may provide the most compelling moments on Born & Raised but the versatility is the most impressive thing about it, suggesting that Coleman has many roads to follow in the future.

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