Young Guitar Slingers ... Texas Blues Evolution

Texas Blues Evolution -- Texas Blues Evolution (TMG)

Young Guitar Slingers ... Texas Blues Evolution

(TMG)

For a peek at the latest crop of Texas young guns making the rounds with their Stratocasters, Young Guitar Slingers -- Texas Blues Evolution is a fine place to start. As the title implies, there's been an evolution in Texas blues, and if the players of previous generations (the Vaughan brothers most notably) modeled themselves after legendary bluesmen like Freddie King, and in SRV's case, Albert King, it's Stevie Ray's legacy that looms the largest over the younger blues rockers who followed in his footsteps. That said, it's particularly interesting to note how this collection of relative youngsters like Matt Powell and George DeVore have delved so deeply into the rich blues canon and have chosen to record decades-old tunes by an assortment of long-gone blues icons. Whether by intent or strictly coincidental, it certainly grounds the set in a semblance of tradition before veering off into raw, juke joint rowdiness. In particular, DeVore's ass-kickin' take on Robert Johnson, Guy Forsyth's reverential reading of Blind Willie Johnson, and Scrappy Jud Newcomb's seductive rendering of Leroy Carr are most noteworthy. Likewise, among the out-of-towners, Jesse Dayton does justice to Hound Dog Taylor, C.C. Adcock conjures up the swamp rock of his Lafayette, La., home base, and Houston's Carolyn Wonderland wails on "Ain't Nobody's Business." As with most compilations of this sort, there's a clam or three thrown in, but overall, Antone's can be proud to have these blues purveyors grace their stage, and in turn, move the tradition along.

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