"Dedicated to Sun Ra, Son House and my son Silas," Violent Femmes' bassist Brian Ritchie's solo debut The Blend is a diverse affair that melds his alt-rock background with funk, blues and Eastern instruments. Joined by numerous guests, Ritchie sings and plays guitar, accordion, banjo, flute, recorder and more; his songs are equally ambitious, ranging from the self-explanatory "Arab Song" (performed on the arabic tabla) to the gritty funk exercise "Alphabet." And The Blend isn't just dedicated to Sun Ra; Ritchie also covers the spaceman's "Nuclear War," although his eccentric rendition of the blues standard "John the Revelator" bears little resemblance to Son House's version -- or, for that matter, to any previously recorded stab at the song.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny