Bernard Allison review…February 16, 2018…..

BERNARD ALLISON

LET IT GO

RUF RECORDS  1252

CRUISIN FOR A BLUESIN–SAME OLE FEELING–BACKDOOR MAN–LET IT GO–NIGHT TRAIN–KIDDIO–LEAVE YOUR EGO–BLUES PARTY–HEY LADY–LOOK OUT MABEL–YOU’RE GONNA NEED ME–CASTLE

Bernard Allison, aside from being the son of blues legend Luther Allison, is a high;y-accomplished and critically-acclaimed bluesman in his own right.   Now, he sho’ nuff learned at the feet of his father, recording with him for the first time at the age of thirteen.  Over his solo career, which began in 1990, he’s always held true to the traditions of the blues, while putting his own spin on things.  You can hear it for yourself on his latest set, “Let It Go,” for Ruf Records.

There are party anthems, funked-up struts, love songs, and a touching tribute to Pops over these twelve cuts.  The whole thing was laid down here in western Middle Tennessee, at Bessie Blue Studios in Stantonville, with Jim Gaines producing.

Bernard, along with fellow Ruf artists Vanja Sky and Mike Zito, are bent on bringing great blues to the world as the 2018 Blues Caravan tour kicks off.  The set opens with that party groove, with the funky blues of “Crusin For A Bluesin.”  Bernard busts out his slide for the dream-sequenced tale of a cheatin’ lover and her “Backdoor Man,” and channels one of his father’s lifelong mantras about performing in general, “Leave Your Ego, play the music, love the people.”

He gets into some fine funk-charged blues with the strut of “Night Train,” and follows that freight train chug on the rollicking, Sun-splashed, “Look Out Mabel.”  We had two favorites, too.  Bernard pays tribute to his father with a somber acoustic read of Luther’s “Castle,”  which closes the set.  And, down at Club Heaven, the “Blues Party” never ends, with the slide-heavy boogie that name-checks many of the dearly-departed legends,.

Bernard Allison carries on the family tradition of bringing great blues to fans all over the globe.  “Let It Go” reminds us all that he is indeed an unstoppable visionary in the world of contemporary blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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