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Travis Haddix 

Blues From Staghorn Street (Wann-Sonn/www.travishaddix.com)

Travis Haddix's Ichiban albums of the '80s and '90s were a mix of radio-friendly R&B numbers and "straight" blues. The Cleveland singer-guitarist's consistent knack for a lyrical hook and his grit-and-honey vocals undoubtedly spoke volumes about versatility (and commercial potential) to his producers at the Atlanta label. On the sixth release for his own Wann-Sonn imprint, Haddix's skills remain intact, but these days he stands firmly on blues turf.

Blues From Staghorn Street recalls the days when urban-radio charts regularly sported a blues track or two. Song titles promise catchy contents, and Haddix delivers on tracks such as "Cut Off Your Money" and "Am I Country Enough for You?" The production -- particularly the horn section -- gives the band a distinctly "live" sound, which provides ideal support for Haddix's energized playing. You're not likely to find a better practitioner of soul-drenched blues in this town or any other.

Speaking of Regional Beat

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