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Brad Wilson - 'Blues Thunder' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/60/29/b3/Brad-Wilson-Blues-Thunder-54-1456859373.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 01, 2016    
 
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A mixed bag, never quite reaching the heights of anything other than decent.

With support slots for the likes of Chicago under his belt and an album 'Hand On The Wheel' that apparently contained four charting singles, Brad Wilson and his band look to capitalise on that success with 'Blues Thunder'.

Billed on his rather grand sounding press release as "California's Hottest Blues Rock singer/song-writer", Wilson kicks off his second album with the surprisingly mellow and gentle 'Is It Any Wonder' which kind of caught me on the hop. I was expecting something hard hitting, and '...Wonder' is anything but. Fortunately, Wilson claws back ground with the much more energetic, Blues heavy 'Change It Up' which is a far more convincing statement of intent.

'Blue Shadows' then takes things down with a Lounge style, very much a late night, after hours track which is juxtaposed alongside the foot tapper 'Step By Step'. The title track sees Wilson at his most Rocking, but for me the mix is a bit lightweight with the guitar and lead vocal burying the rhythm section which robs the track of some of its potential punch.

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'Let's Go Barefooting It' features some great harmonica work from Tumbleweed Mooney while the rather twee 'My Faith Has Been Broken' passes by without leaving much of an impression. 'Cool Runnin'' is one of the best efforts for me, showing tasteful Blues licks from Wilson on a breezy, West Coast styled track. 'Black Coffee At Sunrise' would have been absolutely great in the hands of somebody like Lou Rawls, but Wilson, to his credit, handles the vocal well. 'Sugar Sweet' is a bit too repetitive for my liking but the album ends on a high with the powerful 'Never Again', which boasts a mix much more like what the title track required.

'Blues Thunder' is a mixed bag, never quite reaching the heights of anything other than decent. I didn't dislike it by any means and Brad Wilson can certainly play, but the bulk of the material I found to be rather unremarkable.

James Gaden

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