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The Colin John Band 

Acousticland Lady (WMF)

The Colin John Band certainly didn't need to recruit a heavy hitter like Michael Hill to make a terrific blues album. The Akron trio proved it could do it alone with 2002's Groove Yard Devils, with John's ferocious guitar wrangling and soulful vocals leading the way. But who can complain? Hill, a New Yorker who still fronts Michael Hill's Blues Mob, collaborated with John last year at a festival in France. The pair wondered if they would be as simpatico on record as they were informally. Yes, indeed.

Acousticland Lady, as the title would lead you to suspect, is an exercise in country blues. Yet the approach John and Hill took to the disc's five original compositions and covers like Sonny Boy Williamson's "Eyesight to the Blind" and Robert Johnson's "32-20 Blues" produced a sound heavy enough to keep lovers of urban blues happy too. Two superb axmen are better than one.

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