When it comes to the blues, it seems like there are two different camps -- those who are staunch authentic blues enthusiasts, and those who like their blues amped up with a decidedly rock approach. On his 1996 live release, No Mercy, singer/guitarist Bernard Allison certainly falls under the latter category. As with the majority of modern-day blues-rockers, Allison focuses mostly on covers of vintage blues tunes, with the odd original (or more accurately, one lone original -- "Next Generation") thrown in for good measure. With Allison backed by a group of studio pros, No Mercy captures blues at its most well-honed -- the complete opposite of the grittiness of the original bluesmen -- especially on such tracks as the album-opening "Rock Me Baby" and "Breakin' Up Somebody's Home." Also included are a pair of tributes to Bernard's father, Luther Allison ("Change Your Way of Living" and "Help") as well as a reading of "Tin Pan Alley," which is very reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan's version (on his classic Couldn't Stand the Weather release). If you're an admirer of modern-day blues-rock, then No Mercy is certainly worth a spin.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato