Kinsey Report

Smoke and Steel

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

With a strong, rock-drenched approach to their brand of blues, the Kinsey Report comes roaring back with their third full length album for the Alligator imprint. The band has matured and, if nothing else, acquits themselves in a thoroughly professional manner like the old-school gospel/blues/R&B veterans they truly are. While the whole thing pulsates and rocks with an almost bludgeoning intensity at times, Donald's blistering guitar is equal parts roadhouse funk and rock volume blues infused with lots of Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix with the Kinsey family twist put to it. Brothers Kenny and Ralph hold the bass-drums groove down tight, tight, tight, while guest guitars, keyboards and Lester Davenport on harmonica show up along the way to spice things up. Highlights include the minor-key reggae groove of "This Old City," and the funk flavors on "When the Church Burned Down" and "Can't See the Hook," the soul ballad "Loved Ones," the lowdown mean country romp of John Fogerty's "Rattlesnake Highway" and "Down In the Dungeon," and the slow blues workout on "Code of the Streets." Strong, strong songwriting (Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top co-wrote one of the tunes here) and a varied approach throughout makes this a modern blues album that holds up to repeated listenings.

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