Ricky Kicklighter


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What begins as a slick but unspectacular Steve Laury soundalike project ends up exploding into a wild and woolly blues-rock festival on Richy Kicklighter's Myakka, spotlighting another new guitarist with big-name connections and a pounding, sincere musical angle. Nothing is really wrong with the opening tracks, which are bubbly and entertaining without providing much muscle to sink such stellar chops into. But once "In The Blue" heats up, the volume and energy levels kick up just enough notches to make Kicklighter's string voice stand out in the crowded genre. The title track is especially rambunctious, but even on the Richard Elliot soothed pop-blues of "Three Hearts," Kicklighter allows himself to stand out above his burning band in multi-influenced ways. Adding the most fire here and keeping the authenticity creeping through is Neil Larsen, whose synth whimsy and organ toughness add a much desired texture to the guitar focused disc. An inventive take on "Light My Fire" will attract the most interest, but the rousing live blues slam at the end is the ensemble's crowning achievement.

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