Lightning Red is an original traveling man having grown up in Chicago before becoming a resident of Austin, Texas, the home of Texas blues in the mid-1970's. Red has even spent time as a resident of the far Northeastern State of Maine while continuing his musical assault in the Texas blues rock genre. It is clear that Red's attack on Texas blues has continued with the release of his third CD, Tortured Mind. As was the case with his previous recordings, Red's Blues and Texas Thunder Blues, Red demonstrates his passionate guitar and creative song writing with ten original compositions. Happily, not even his relocation to the far Northeastern U. S. dulled the Texas feel and emotion in his sound.
On Tortured Mind, Lightning Red receives strong support from his backing band, Thunder Blues, including bassist Terry Robbins, drummer Coy "Boy" Fuller and Gray Gregson on keyboards. Robbins and Fuller also helped co-write several of the original songs on the CD. Tortured Mind also presents the efforts of three guest guitarists offered on six of the ten tracks. The "guests" are notably led by noted Austin, Texas guitar slinger, W.C. Clark along with John Ussery and Jeff "El Jefe" Anderson.
From the opener, "Dynamite" to the finale, "Back to Texas," Red and his band put your head smack in the middle of Austin, Texas and keeps you there for the duration with Red's scintillating guitar riffs backed by the strong rhythms of Thunder Blues. Particularly enjoyable is "Hard To Have The Blues," where Red trades solos with W.C. Clark and John Ussery, an event that is repeated later on "Houston Blues." "Should Listened" appears to be a bit of autobiographical writing by Red as he laments all of those people that he should have listened to if he didn't want to rely on the blues to make his living (although he seems happy enough that he didn't listen).
Two of the best songs on Tortured Mind are "Bitta Man" and "South Austin Shuffle." "Bitta Man" has a hypnotic beat with some exceptional slide guitar by Red, while "South Austin Shuffle" conjures up images of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan as Red trades leads with Jeff "El Jefe" Anderson.
Needless to say, if you love burning hot guitar and Texas style blues, Tortured Mind is one CD to add to your acquisitions list. Come out of the cold and grab some Texas heat from Lightning Red & Thunder Blues. To pick up a copy of Tortured Mind and to find out more about this fine Texas guitarist, visit Red's website at www.lightningred.com.
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This review is copyright © 2002 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
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