It has been a week of British blues guitarists here at Bluesbunny Towers and that, perhaps, is no surprise given that the festival booking period is upon us and they all need to have albums to put on that merchandise table in the sun. Taking care of business is therefore where it is at, after all, and there is no doubt that Kris Barras takes care of business with his album “Lucky 13”.
The blues rock genre isn’t really the kind of genre that expects, or rewards, experimentation and these eleven songs, consequently, never rock the boat with time, the city lights and the Devil all getting their expected share of lyric time. As a compensation for having his writing hands tied behind his back though, Kris Barras can concentrate his efforts on what he does best and that, as aficionados of such things will already know, is to demonstrate a firebrand fluidity on the guitar that lesser mortals can only dream of. It is no surprise therefore that his guitar sets songs like “Rock ‘n’ Roll running Through My Veins” and “Small Town Blues” alight.
However, this album isn’t a one man show and the rest of the band prove more than able of supplying the kind of quality musical support that he deserves with Phoebe Ions, especially, nearly stealing the vocal limelight, as Marcy Levy did to the boy Clapton back in the days when smack was the new black, before getting her own chance to shine in “Tearing Me Apart”.
“Lucky 13” is, as you might now expect, as solid a blues rock album as you are going to get.