Phil Strongman listens to the good, the bad and the ugly...
JON LACEY Lost In This Beautiful World (Winding River CD)
Lacey is a young Northerner who's been making a name for himself in the acoustic scene's singer-songwriter circles – Tom McConville, Kathryn Tickell and Chris Sherburn all chip in on this set – and he's proved here he's no mere hunk of hype. The 12 numbers that comprise 'Lost…' are all solid senders with the pounding 'Return To The Sunshine', the elegiac 'Stolen' and the edgy 'Try Too Hard' being three of the best. (8/10)
JOHN LEE HOOKER Mr. Lucky (SPV CD)
Its almost 20 years since JLH cut this album – with a little help from his friends (i.e. Van Morrison, Ry Cooder, Albert Collins, Carlos Santana, Johnny Winter, Keith Richards, Booker T) – and time has not diminished it. Its still the blues, of course, but with cuts that vary from the driven to the brassy to soulful ballads like '', a lament that's seriously enhanced by some great vocal contributions from Van The Man. (7/10)
IKE & TINA TURNER Archive Series Volumes 1 & 2 (SPV Dble CD)
This double set features some great recordings from the duo's heyday – i.e. 1966 – 74 – before Tina got sick of being beaten up and moved on to solo superstardom. There's different versions of 'River Deep Mountain High', the original funky masterpiece that is 'Nutbush City Limits' plus covers of everything from the Beatles to the Spencer Davis Group. Wild, tender stuff. (7/10)