Christian Collin review…July 7, 2015….

CHRISTIAN COLLIN

SPIRIT OF THE BLUES

C-TRAIN RECORDS

ONE AND ONLY–PLAYER’S GAME–A WOMAN LIKE YOU–DANCE THE BLUES AWAY–WITHOUT YOU–SPIRIT OF THE BLUES–HIGHWAY SONG–BLUES FOR YOU–DEAD MAN WALKING–OLD 109–THE RIVER (UNPLUGGED)–FOREVER FRIENFDS

Christian Collin was born in Detroit, into a musical family–his father was road manager for Bob Seger–so young Christian was always exposed to great music.  His becoming a musician was part of the natural order of things, choosing guitar as his signature instrument.  He’s just completed his latest release, twelve blues and blues-rock originals that comprise “Spirit Of The Blues,” which pays tribute to his heroes and allows him to forge his own unique sound.

Joining Christian on this fine set are Alex Evans on bass, Chris Morrow on drums, Johnny Iguana on keys,  and Matthew Skoller on harp.  Pete Galanis guests on slide guitar, as does Billy Branch on harp, which we’ll address shortly.

A cold shot of Texas-styled blues-rock leads things off, as Christian assures his lover that she’s his “One And Only,” even if “the world around us crumbles to the sea.”  He turns in some fine balladry, too.  An ode to a lost lover is “Without You, I’m on the outside looking in,” while the set closes with some vintage soul, laying bare the story of two lovers who have gone their separate ways, vowing to be “Forever Friends.”

His rockin’ side really lets the good times roll, tho.  Johnny’s piano rides the boogie as Christian sings “Mama warned me about a Woman Like You–she’ll give any man the blues!”  A slab of Chicago-styled blues has Matthew blowin’ for all he’s worth over Christian’s stop-time read of “Highway Song,” where he vows to “catch a ride to nowhere” to get away from a no-good lover.

We had three favorites, too.  The only cut where Christian plays slide guitar on this set is on the haunting groove of “Dead Man Walking,” built around a droning, almost Hill-Country riff as Christian sings this one thru the soul of a “man without a friend, a man without a home.”  The title cut is a cool, slow-burnin’ homage to his heroes, being “struck by Lightnin’ Hopkins and blown away by Stevie Ray.”  Billy Branch adds harp to our other favorite, a Delta-rific, testifyin’   “The River (Unplugged),” as Christian “goes down to the river to cleanse my sins.”

Christian Collin has captured the “Spirit Of The Blues” with this set.  Everybody knows the blues consoles and the blues rocks and rolls, and this young man really brings it all home with this one!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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