"Me, My Guitar and the Blues" is Chris Thomas King's most eclectic album to date. Better known for his acoustic blues work, King adds soul, rap and R&B to his latest mix, with varying results. The plaintive "Why Blues" and "Like Father, Like Son" are sturdy soul tunes in the Robert Cray vein. But things go horribly awry when King awkwardly raps in the blues classic "Born Under a Bad Sign" as well as the clichéd gangsta saga "Cain," and then turns in some boy-band-style pop ballads.
When he stays closer to his acoustic blues roots, the results are excellent. "Superstitious Blues," "Gambling Woman" and Robert Johnson's "Stones in My Passway" are all elegant and nuanced Delta blues numbers that highlight King's supple guitar and slight falsetto. Maybe the ambitious King is searching for mainstream acceptance, but "Me, My Guitar and the Blues" proves that he should stick to what he does best.
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