Kelly Joe Phelps: Roll Away the Stone

A starker, more ethereal take on the blues is offered by Kelly Joe Phelps on Roll Away The Stone (Rykodisc 10393; 55:29). A singer-songwriter and solo practitioner of six and 12 string lap slide guitar, the young, enigmatic Portland-based troubadour summons up the ghosts of the Delta with touches of Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges and Chris Smither along the way. Phelps goes pretty deep inside to come up with stuff this rare. It is highly personal, unpretentious and wholly affecting music.