Colin John Band 

Acousticland Lady (Graboy/Fontana)

Don't let the title fool you: The first national release from this well-traveled blues rocker is no laid-back affair. Fronted by the guitar tandem of Colin John and guest Michael Hill, this CD delivers a drivin', rock-solid set capable of shaking things up on any bandstand. It should cause some to rethink their notions of acoustic blues.

John's new label may have decided to reissue this title with fresh artwork because of its considerable crossover potential. Propelled by a solid rhythm section, John and Hill pick, slide, and sing their way through a well-paced mix of originals and select classics. Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight to the Blind" and Robert Johnson' s "32-20 Blues" coexist quite comfortably with John's congenial leadoff shuffle "11 Months & 29 Days" and Hill's searing petro-politics on "O.I.L." As consistently impressive an individual player as John is, he's also made a habit of top-notch partnering, as with Al Green guitarist Teenie Hodges. His rapport with Hill is undeniable here. With nationwide airplay now in reach, John will no doubt grab his share.

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