Last month, my friend Kevin suggested that if the Rolling Stones and Don Was had taken a chance, "Blue & Lonesome" would have been so much better. He mentioned this after listening to the new record from Errol Linton. It took a month, and a Mojo review reminder, but I gave "No Entry" a spin.
In a word, "Wow."
I've been very vocal on these pages regarding Mick and Keith's missed opportunity called "Blue & Lonesome." Many of you have been kinder to the Stones "return" to "the blues" than I have been. I, for one, could not get beyond the hotter than hot, hair band production to even determine whether or not the Stones delivered a return to form. And with each subsequent second, third and fourth chance, "Blue & Lonesome" just made me angrier.
But I digress.
Errol Linton's "No Entry" is a perfect example of how to make a traditional blues record in the 21st century. From the opening instrumental "No Entry Blues" you will get lost in the production, which is damn near perfect. As "No Entry" unfolds, you'll think you were listening to a vintage John Mayall record, or some just found Chess sides from Sonny Boy Williamson.
"No Entry" grooves along and lands in that pocket you usually find on a John Lee Hooker record. The first time you realize this is a new record is when the spell is broken on "Speak Easy," an instrumental with a lilting reggae vibe, six tracks in. And that works, too.
There is no overplaying on "No Entry." It is not brash. It is a wonderfully subtle collection of Linton originals, save one tune, that feel both fresh and timeless at the same time.
Give "No Entry" a spin.
And thanks Kevin, for the nudge.