Well To the Bone
Guitarist Scott Henderson offers his jazz-informed take on the blues on Well to the Bone (Shrapnel), his third solo outing apart from Tribal Tech, the band he leads with bassist Gary Willis. Henderson is blessed with monstrous technique, and here he layers his fiery guitar tracks to create a series of elaborately textured compositions. Gentle but decidedly not mellow, "Ashes" escalates into an explosive guitar workout, while the lickety-split, dog-bark-punctuated bluegrass number "Hillbilly in the Band" is highlighted with Henderson's nimble banjo work. Singer Wade Durham provides gutsy vocals on three tracks, notably "Devil Boy," and the Middle Eastern-inflected "Sultan's Boogie" morphs into a showcase for Henderson's ferocious soloing. Thelma Houston sings on three tracks, including the bawdy "Lola Fay," and on the funky "Dat's da Way It Go," Houston and Durham engage in some sassy banter. On "Rituals," Henderson interweaves delicate acoustic guitar, layers of effects and anthemic electric guitar to close the album on an evocative and atmospheric note.