The Steve Miller Band

Let Your Hair Down (Roadrunner)

Blues Before and After

The Steve Miller Band

Let Your Hair Down (Roadrunner)

A thousand bluesmen toiling for a thousand years might have come up with Let Your Hair Down. Covering the classics ribs the genre's skeleton, from its progenitors to its practitioners large and small, but such LPs fall together perfectly only once in a blue moon. Cut from the same sessions as 2010's Bingo!, which opened with Paul Ray and Jimmie Vaughan's "Hey Yeah" on its way to a total of three JLV tributes, Let Your Hair Down falls into a better tousle, beginning with Junior Wells and Buddy Guy's "Snatch It Back and Hold It," destined as a new classic among blues neophytes even as it preserves the last harp accents of Miller's forever foil, the late Norton Buffalo. The frontman's thickened vox on "I Got Love If You Want It" combined with the song's swinging 1960s London associations makes it and Fly Like an Eagle birds of a feather. Same goes for Willie Dixon's twangin' "Pretty Thing," while "No More Doggin'" could've been connective tissue on The Joker. "Just a Little Bit" isn't a Vaughan song, but the Austin Strat master owned it on last year's Plays Blues, Ballads & Favorites. Steve Miller's Billboard chart staple Greatest Hits 1974-78 just coughed up a blues brother.

***.5

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