Bill Perry

Crazy Kind of Life

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Joined again by shotgun-riding guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/producer Jimmy Vivino (who wrote or co-penned six tunes), New Yorker Bill Perry's second Blind Pig album wallows in his gruff, no-frills blues/rock. Neither Perry's throaty voice, workingman lyrics, nor guitar sound are particularly recognizable, yet he gets by on enthusiasm and fiery playing, raising the temperature on such trite concepts as "Too Hot" with his rugged, straightforward attack. Explorations into light funk ("Take You Down") and gospel ("Morning Spiritual" is the album's only instrumental) effectively break up the tough roots rocking that remains the album's core attraction. As clich├ęd as the sounds and sentiments of the Stevie Ray Vaughan-ish "Can't Buy My Love" or the good-natured misogyny of "Girl's Gone Crazy" are, Perry delivers them with such exuberant finesse that they click, regardless of how religiously both stay within standard guidelines of the genre. Slide excursions on the opening "Trouble in the Shotgun" and the Elmore James riffage of "500 Miles" also tread familiar territory. Only a well-intentioned but entirely out-of-place near-acoustic version of the Rolling Stones' "No Expectations" (with Perry's old employer, Richie Havens, on vocals and acoustic guitar) derails the mood on this perfectly adequate, energetic, enjoyable, but hardly essential release.

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