March 1997

Mighty Sam McClain
Sledgehammer Soul & Down Home Blues
AudioQuest

Vocalist Mighty Sam McClain lends his gruff Bobby Bland-ish style to Sledgehammer Soul & Down Home Blues (AudioQuest 1042; 71:37). Backed by a capable group of blues scholars, including Bruce Katz on Hammond B-3 organ, Kevin Barry on guitar and a punchy four-piece horn section, McClain dishes out portions of gospel, country, funk, reggae, R&B and blues with a truckload of soul, but he's ultimately most affecting on confessional slow blues numbers like "When The Hurt Is Over (Maybe Love Will Flow)," "They Call Me Mighty" (his answer to "Stormy Monday") and "If You Could See." Deep, deep blues from the old school delivered with heartfelt conviction.

Originally published in March 1997
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