Steve Rowe

Driving the Blues Away

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Montreal-born bluesman Steve Rowe aptly named his first disc Driving the Blues Away. Rowe keeps the tone of his blues mainly upbeat and moving, maintaining the energy of his live shows. Instead of the usual rockers/ballad/rockers formula, Rowe incorporates a jazzy Texas influence, sidestepping ballad formulas and keeping the music simple and soulful. The only misfire here is the six-minute title track, the last on the disc, that falls into a slow blues rut. While Rowe's guitar solo has some bite, the arrangement and background vocals negate that with a laid-back approach that is too laid-back. The addition of slide guitarist Bat Taylor and harmonica man Tyrone Zeller help keep the production nice and gritty.

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