Following an impressive debut, 'Live At The Alamo Theatre', Eddie Cotton delivers an outstanding studio recording, Extra. With a clean and polished technique to his guitar playing, Eddie Cotton is not another Stevie Ray Vaughn wanna be. While his riffs are not as spotless as Robert Cray, one could easily compare the newcomer to the veteran, as his funk driven shuffles and roots in gospel and soul set him apart from other 30-something blues singers/guitarists.
The record contains six original compositions and six carefully chosen covers. 'Let's Straighten It Out' features a Caribbean groove and Carlos Santana-esque guitar solos. There are two versions of the Mckinley Mitchell song, 'End Of The Rainbow'; an acoustic version which showcases Cotton's soulful voice followed by an equally impressive electric version which has an Al Green, going to church vibe. The young guitarist tackles the Howlin' Wolf classic, 'Killing Floor' and the Willie Dixon standard, 'Let Me Love You', giving each song an infectious funk driven rhythm rather than the standard shuffle. Just as impressive as Eddie Cotton's ability to take standard blues and transform them are his songwriting capabilities. The title track is a nice mixture of jazz guitar riffs and tender lyrics. Bass player Myron Bennett is key to the sound of this album. His funky style is featured on almost every track. 'Be Good To Me' is another example of the versatility of this Mississippi guitar slinger as he and the band construct a very lose and unrehearsed atmosphere.
Recorded live in the studio, Extra successfully combines genres without sounding contrived or overly elaborate; rather the disc has a flowing and relaxed feeling which is refreshing and gratifying.
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