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Kim Wilson
LOOKINí FOR TROUBLE
(M.C. RECORDS)
Stars graphics

Donít judge Kim Wilson by "Tuff Enuff" and the Fabulous Thunderbirdsí other radio hits from their major-label years. Listen, instead, to "Money, Marble & Chalk" from this album, Wilsonís first studio recording in six years. Itís a study in amplified harmonica virtuosity, with a mile-wide tone soaked in the kind of reverb that made Little Walter smile. No wonder former Eric Clapton and Muddy Waters harpman Jerry Portnoy proclaims Wilson the greatest living harmonica master. Wilson is also singing through his amp to give this sweaty love song an otherworldly quality, as if he were a ghost from some long-gone Chicago blues haven. And though that tune is the albumís highlight, he also taps New Orleans swing (Dave Bartholomewís "Hook, Line and Sinker"), powerhouse shuffles (the title track and more), and prickly Texas blues (his own "Tortured," which features a nifty, needling solo from Worcesterís Troy Gonyea, Wilsonís MVP guitarist) with élan. All of his tunes fit perfectly with the classics he covers. And his closing instrumental tribute to the late Junior Wells, "Jr.ís Jump," balances jazz and juke joints as effortlessly as its namesake did.

BY TED DROZDOWSKI


Issue Date: July 18 - 24, 2003
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