Luke Winslow King. Blue Mesa. Bloodshot Records

blue20mesaMore commonly associated with blues and New Orleans styled music, Luke Winslow King’s latest album for Bloodshot Records finds him reaching out a bit into the currently fashionable country soul genre. For sure he can still batter up a fine bluesy mess as on the Hooker ‘n Heat boogie of Thought I Heard You and the Albert King like guitar strutting Leghorn Women. Meanwhile the Big Easy is summoned up on the syncopated rhythms of Chicken Dinner adorned as they are by a fine horn section.

The majority of the album however is more laid back with Mike Lynch’s organ playing as prominent as Roberto Luti’s fiery rattlesnake guitar licks. While Born To Roam wanders somewhat uncomfortably into the rockier side of Eagles territory, elsewhere Winslow King settles into a comfortable groove which suits his slightly careworn vocal delivery just perfectly. The title song is enlivened with south of the border guitar arabesques while there’s a very fine slide guitar solo mid way through. Several songs sound as if he is mashing up Z Z Hill and Sam Cooke with Better for Knowing You the best example and After the Rain is an upbeat number which has a similar jauntiness to that of Van Morrison’s Cleaning Windows and which again has some very dandy slide guitar playing. The closing song, Farewell Blues,  written while his father was dying (The album is dedicated to his late father) is a simple homily to saying goodbye delivered in a country blues fashion with Gary Davis like guitar picking as a fiddle saws away also. A fine close to a very nice album.

Luke Winslow King plays several dates in England in September, dates here.

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