Kid Bangham

Pressure Cooker

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There are many great blues guitar players currently inhabiting the modern scene, but just as many of them aren't very convincing vocalists despite their command of the instrument. Some settle for a hotshot sideman role; others, like Ronnie Earl, opt for an all-instrumental approach, while still others like Jimmie Vaughan find their voice later in their careers. Former Fabulous Thunderbirds and James Harman Band axeman Kid Bangham has chosen a different route on this disc, a genuine collaboration with white Detroit soul singer Amyl Justin. The sound is California guitar gunslinger blues wedded to solid, emotive vocals that makes for an interesting amalgam of its own. The soul workouts ("I Wouldn't Treat a Dog" and "Big Man Around Town") balance out the blues excursions (Bangham's instrumental "My Turn to Talk"), and neither artist gets in the other's way. It also scores big points for having a high quotient of original material from Bangham and Justin, with "No Justice," "Lonely One" and "I Go Crazy" being particular standouts. Utilizing a loose, revolving rhythm section throughout, the result is an album that combines cohesiveness and versatility with loads of emotional commitment, a pretty unbeatable combination.

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