Larry Miller - On The Edge
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In a blues climate seemingly dominated by younger players who make pop records with blues guitar, rather than blues records (Brown, Sayce, Knowles, et al), it's refreshing for someone to actually make a genuine blues album and not try too hard to write sing-a-long, dancing songs. Instead of pretending people like SRV never existed, English workhorse Larry Miller plays the right way, building on their groundwork. He pays his tributes, as all bluesmen feel obliged to do on each album (unnecessarily feeding a resonator intro into some effects to make it sound like a Robert Johnson recording before namechecking his way through When The Blues Man Walked The Earth), but otherwise acknowledges that blues is as much about the guitar playing as it is the songs, and doesn't seem as concerned as some with writing things for middle-aged fans to dance to at concerts desperately trying to say they were there at the beginning of the career of the next big thing. Highlight is The Devil's In The Detail, which starts out like a Ledfoot gothic acoustic blues with Glenn Danzig-like track before a surprisingly heavy electric guitar picks up the motif and turns it into a mean, riffy groover, and slow, searing instrumental closer The Wrong Man (Part Two, continuation of the melodies from the earlier excellent ballad of the same name. And even when things like The Girl That Got Away sounds like a fragrance commercial soundtrack, or the silly lyrics to Reel Me In get repetitve, Miller's distorted tone and soloing often rescue things. It's not a perfect album by any means, but it's a largely authentic album, and that's what blues should sound like.
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