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Eddie Kirkland: Lonely Street

Another blues veteran, 70-year-old Eddie Kirkland, surrounds himself with hot young sidemen on Lonely Street (Telarc 83424; 48:03). He gives it up to Sonny Landreth’s incredible slide guitar playing on the title track. On “Dixie,” with Louisiana guitar slinger Tab Benoit, he gets down into some of that Motor City funk he’s been playing since the early ’50s. Former “Saturday Night Live” bandleader G.E. Smith guests on the raucous 12-bar, “Done Somebody Wrong,” a slow blues, “Dark Nights,” and a raggedy cover of “Money That’s What I Want.” Louisiana guitar-harmonica ace Kenny Neal guests on “Blue River” and the Allman Brothers’ Jaimoe plays drums on several tracks. The enigmatic Kirkland plays his heavily effected guitar with impunity and he sings with searing, frightening intensity throughout. His harmonica playing, however, is just not making it. Half of this record is strangely compelling. The rest ain’t pretty but it feels pretty good.

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