The Bernard Allison Group review…March 22, 2015…

THE BERNARD ALLISON GROUP

IN THE MIX

JAZZHAUS RECORDS  JHR 106

FIVE LONG YEARS–CALL ME MOMMA–MOVE FROM THE HOOD–TELL ME WHO–SOMETHING’S WRONG–LUST FOR YOU–I HAD IT ALL THE TIME–I’D RATHER BE BLIND–SET ME FREE–MOVING ON UP

Bernard Allison is the youngest of nine children whose father was the great Luther Allison.  Young Bernard began to play guitar around the age of ten, and, since 1990, he has recorded several critically-acclaimed albums. Since the passing of his iconic father in 1997, Bernard has accepted the challenge to keep the blues alive in his own ways.  He fuses his father’s sounds with his own, adding flourishes of funk, soul and rock to create a unique sound all his own.

Such is the premise of his latest album, and first in nearly six years, “In The Mix,” on the Jazzhaus label.  This set combines all of Bernard’s myriad of influences for a highly-entertaining album.  Check out the smooth soul of the song that finds Bernard asking Momma for advice on love, “Call Me Momma.”  He channels Pops in the haunting groove of “Lust For You,” with excellent B-3 from Mark Leach.  His love for classic soul and blues is evidenced through sweet covers of Tyrone Davis’ “I Had It All The Time,” and a funk-filled read of Freddie King’s “I’d Rather Be Blind than to see you go.”  The set closes with a gospel touch, as he soulfully covers his father’s “Moving On Up.”

We had two favorites–one cover and one original.  Bernard busts out the slide guitar on both of ’em–his original is the tale of a cheatin’ lover, “Something’s Wrong with you!”  And, the horn section adds a touch of “uptown soul” over Bernard’s slide and vocal on his dad’s story of improving one’s lot in life, “Move From The Hood.”

Bernard Allison continues to be a torch-bearer for the future of the blues.  “In The Mix” continues his family’s strong tradition of bringing us nothin’ but the best in blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

 

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