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August 2017 Articles
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Issue:

familiar, mainstream blues rock

Bloodlines (Alligator)
Michael Hill's Blues Mob

Michael Hill makes it plain from the start that his blues is flavored more by Jimmy Page than Jimmy Reed, at least in terms of guitar style and production values. Relying mostly on original songs with topical lyric themes ("Hard Blues for Hard Times" and "Evil in the Air"), Michael (guitar), with brother Kevin (bass), press blues structures against jazz/rock fusion arrangements with mostly successful results. Living Co1our's Vemon Reid weighs in with one of the album's better songs and performances on his tune "Soldier's Blues."

Although the greatest weakness here is an overall lack of fresh musical ideas, the Mob is capable of throwing a change-up, like when they make a left turn at the West Coast of Africa with "Heading Home," or step into street poetry on "Signifying Monkey/Watch What You Say."

No home run, but they squeeze out a respectable double that makes them Worth watching.

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