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April 1998

Chico Banks
Candy Lickin' Man
Evidence Music

Randy chopsmeister from the Windy City unleashes pyrotechnic guitar licks with wah-wah and distortion pedals in full effect on a program of Albert King-inspired funky blues with a decided rocky edge. "Red Dress" is a contempo licks-conscious updating of "High Heel Sneakers" while the rocky title track recalls Lynnard Skynnard's "Sweet Home Alabama." Chico drops down the dynamic a few notches on a seductive rendition of King Floyd's R&B classic "Groove Me." Mavis Staples guests on one track, breathing sexual energy into "It Must Be Love." Banks flaunts his shredder instincts on "Down The Road I Go," which neatly incorporates Van Halen licks alongside Albert King quotes. That Albert King influence is apparent on four other tunes closely associated with the late, great tyrant of the blues-"Angel Of Mercy," "Got To Be Some Changes Made," "The Sky Is Cryin'" and "Truck Load Of Lovin'." Banks' own "Call My Job" is pure Albert, an homage to the guy who invented the concept of funky blues. Based on the lascivious lyrics and Hendrixy licks it's hard to know what Banks loves more-the ladies or his wah-wah pedal.

Originally published in April 1998
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