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Cleveland Fats 

The Way Things Go (Honeybee)

On his fourth album, gruff-voiced bluesman Cleveland Fats delivers tunes that touch on familiar themes such as faithless women ("Don't Call Me") and wayward men ("Cell Phone Blues," his most contemporary and funny track). The singer-guitarist twines with Robert Lockwood Jr. on Lockwood's "Dead or Alive" and a funky treatment of Sonny Thompson's "Long Gone." This largely traditional blues album is delivered with passion and conviction; Billy Branch's harmonica and Doc Thomas' saxophone give it welcome flavor. More daring and less tradition could make Fats' next album more wakeup call than affirmation.

More by Carlo Wolff

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