This is the debut release of young Arkansas based blues man Michael Burks. The liner notes contained in the CD state that Burks is a past winner of the National Blues Foundation's Albert King Award. It is fitting that Burks won this particular award since Albert King seems to be the primary influence on his music. The band that is featured on the CD consists of Burks on vocals and guitar backed by Stuart Baer on Hammond organ and piano, Lance Womack on drums and Vernon Allgood on bass.
Burks covers a lot of ground on this CD, including several up-tempo shuffles, some slow blues and even throws in a few soul tunes as well. The disc opens with the hard driving shuffle "Find Me A New Love" which showcases Burks' fiery guitar playing. Burks' guitar style is a blend of Albert King and Shelter era Freddie King with a little B.B. King thrown in for good measure. "Little Did I Know" is a slow blues in which the combination of Burks' vocals and his guitar will lead you to believe that you are listening to a long lost Albert King track. However, the best track on the CD is "Lyin', Sneakin' and Cheatin' ", a driving soul number fueled by Burks' wah-wah powered rhythm guitar and the solid groove laid down by the rhythm section.
Special mention should be given to the fact that Burks wrote all of the material that appears on this album. There is not a weak song on this album and it is well produced for an independent recording. Michael Burks has all of the tools necessary to become a major star in the blues field. If you are a fan of artists like Tutu Jones, Carl Weathersby or Bernard Allison, you owe it to yourself to check out this recording because Michael Burks will soon be joining them as a future superstar of the blues. For ordering information contact Wightman Harris at
501-330-2805 or visit www.michaelburks.com on the web.
This review is copyright © 1999 by Barry T. Gober, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.