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Smokin’ Joe Kubek: Bite Me

While Holmstrom and Costello and colleagues are busy cultivating a late ’40s, early ’50s vibe, guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek goes after something completely different on Bite Me (Bullseye Blues & Jazz 11661-9617-2; 47:17). Using a guitar talkbox on the opening track, “If You Know What I’m Sayin’,” Kubek creates an early ’70s vibe reminiscent of Steve Miller, circa The Joker. The 42-year-old guitarist gets a tad preachy on “That’s No Way,” which sounds post-rehab confessional, then dips into some trashy, Texas-styled rock ‘n’ roll with 57-year-old singer Bnois King on “All About That Thang” and “Rollercoaster Love.” The bluesiest tracks on this stylistic hodgepodge produced by the ubiquitous blues-rock veteran Jim Gaines are “Lay It on Me, Leona,” the minor key lament “Player Got Played,” the sly, Gatemouth Brown-ish shuffle “Don’t Go Left on Me” and the raucous jump blues closer “I Know That’s Right.”

Originally Published