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LINSEY ALEXANDER

COME BACK BABY

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Delmark (DE838)

Little Bit Of Soap, Booze And Blues, I Got A Woman, Come Back Baby, Call My Wife, Things Done Changed, Can’t Drink, Can’t Sleep, Can’t Eat, Booty Call, Too Old To Be A New Fool, Snowing In Chicago, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Funky Feeling, Goin’ Out Walkin’

A stalwart of the Chicago blues scene for years, Linsey’s recording career only got started in 2012 when he recorded Been There Done That for Delmark (DE822). This kick-started a late flowering of interest and invitations to play for audiences all over the world.

Now over 70, this is his follow up album and features 13 impressive examples of his own brand of contemporary blues. With a strong voice and searing guitar style, typically supported by a rock solid rhythm section and punchy horn charts, stylistically he sits somewhere between the gritty blues of Son Seals and the smoother sounds of Robert Cray. Not surprising really as his idols when he first came to Chicago from a Mississippi home were B.B. King, Albert King and Albert Collins.

The opening track, Little Bit Of Soap, typifies his style and sound but thereafter there is plenty of variety and changes of pace. Things Have Changed adds a lovely funk edge and has a nifty electric piano prominent in the mix (not an instrument that usually wins me over), while Booty Call offers a breezy up-beat soul tempo that makes you want to dance rather than ponder too deeply the dubious nature of the lyrics (between you and I though, I quite enjoy them!).

On Too Old To Be A New Fool, Billy Branch chips in with some solid blues harmonica, as he also does on a couple of others, most notably the rockin’ blues of Call My Wife.

Apart from Little Bit Of Soap, there is only one other cover version on the album, a strong reading of Willie Dixon’s I Can’t Quit You Baby. All of the other tracks are Linsey originals, evidence perhaps of a hitherto under-remarked on talent for song-writing as there is not a dud among them.

A late bloomer maybe but this is not the sound of a bluesman winding down. Linsey is definitely going places and this consistently excellent album will sure help him get there.

 

 

Review Date: August 2014

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