Bernard Allison

Next Generation

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Bernard Allison's inaugural effort bristled with the urgency and blues-rock guitar chops that distinguished his late father, Luther Allison. The pair played together for much of the '80s before Bernard recorded this album with his father's musicians -- including keyboardist Michel Carras, who pulls down some good barrelhouse piano parts. The mood is feisty and assertive, especially on "B.A.'s Knockin' at Your Door" and "Low Down and Dirty," which poses the gleeful question, "And you think I'd change my style?" Of course not; fans knew exactly what they were getting, such as the Hendrix-flecked string-bending that drives "Help." (Bernard even dabbles on drums and keyboards.) Other highlights include the title track's party blues, complete with sassy horns; "Baby Child," a hilarious recounting of how Bernard began his career; and "Travlin'," a slower, yet frank look at the road's ups and downs. While hardly the deftest lyricist, Bernard's breezy self-assurance on guitar and can-do musical ethic should overcome most objections.

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