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Steve Guyger |
(Severn Records - Severn CD 0044)
Review Date: Oct 2009
by Gordon Baxter
Maryland's Severn Records has a garnered a reputation for quality blues recordings. On the back of a dozen nominations in this year's Blues music awards, comes the latest release from Philadelphia harpist Steve Guyger.
Guyger is something of a harpist's harpist, having received plaudits from the likes of the late, great William Clarke, and Mark Hummel. His latest recording, "Radio Blues" was inspired by the sounds he heard on the radio in the 1950s and 60s, although most of the tunes are originals. The Chicago influence of the likes of SBWII, Little Walter and Junior Wells is fairly evident, but Guyger's own style always shines through, as he throws in a twist of zydeco on "Little Rita" and some Louisiana Swamp Blues on "I Can See By Your Eyes". There is an extra touch of class of "Cool in the Evening" with Guyger in particularly fine voice, and he demonstrates his prowess on chromatic harp on "Blues Won't Let Me Be".
Whilst Guyger learned from the greats, he is much more than a slavish copyist. "Radio Blues" harks back to an earlier time, whilst still managing to sound contemporary. It may have been too late for this year's nominations, but it would not be a surprise to see Guyger's latest album among those for next year's awards.
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