EVERYBODY OUGHT TO TREAT A STRANGER RIGHT
For his third album for the label, talented Canadian blues and boogie woogie pianist goes a little off-kilter by introducing funk, jazz, violins, harmonicas, horns, backing vocals and plenty more besides to produce a much more broad-based album than previously, and it works.
This album has 17 songs and each bears little relation to the one that's gone before. While his inspired piano playing is prominent throughout, the musical landscape in which it appears is constantly changing, from a funked-up version of Blind Willie Johnson's title track, a R&B piano work out on Mean Old Train that could be James Booker or Mose Allison, a celtic folk waltz on The End Of The Day, or a slice of American folk on Angeliqueto. He even gets his guitar out a plays a brooding John Lee Hooker/Lightnin' Hopkins style back porch blues song. Don't be fooled by his false modesty ('I haven't touched the guitar much in the last few years, but incompetence has never stopped me before') his playing gifts are prodigious.
A long and eclectic album that those who need their music pigeon-holed before deciding if they are likely to enjoy it may struggle with. If you however just like music played with vim, skill and passion, this features all this in abundance.
Review Date: October 2012