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CD REVIEW: Blue Larry Blue - Analog Guy
By Chip Withrow - 11/06/2007 - 08:32 PM EST

Artist: Band: Blue Larry Blue
Album: Analog Guy
Label: Hoss-Tone Records
Genre: Blues/Rock
Sounds Like: Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Best Songs: I'm a Ram, Crawlin' King Snake, She Loves My Money, Blessed Be the Blues
CD Review: Blue Larry Blue delivers fun, catchy blues in an accessible style similar to Robert Cray, Delbert McClinton, and Bonnie Raitt. Larry Sandlin is also a slick guitar player, leading a tight back-to-basics band.

“Ain’t Got You” and “Better Be Better” are funky and just a shade more rhythm-and-bluesy than a lot of contemporary country hits – the resonator guitar in both is a nifty touch.

The title cut is lyrically goofy but fun, with great swooping bass runs from Ron DeLaVega. DeLaVega and drummer Dave Spak are solid anchors throughout the disc – the pulsing “She Loves My Money” and the Muddy Waters tune “I Can’t Be Satisfied” are two of their showcases.

The other cover versions are top-notch, too. “I’m A Ram” is a cooking Al Green number. Larry leans into the vocal, fires off some stinging leads, and Al Gamble delivers trusty Memphis-style B3 organ. Then comes a uniquely groovy and jazzy take on Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird.”

“Crawlin’ King Snake,” the John Lee Hooker staple, is dripping with mystery. Larry’s version is stylish, and his guitar work is layered for maximum bayou effect. If the vocal was just a tad smokier, this would be darn near perfect.

“Blessed Be the Blues” is a fine gospel-ish closer. On his other originals, Larry’s lyrics are tongue-in-cheek, but “Blessed” is bittersweet and pretty. It’s a classy touch – the lone ballad on a spirited album.

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