Had I voted for a Top 10 Best Blues CDs of 1999 list (I truly despise those lists), "Blues On My Back" would have placed somewhere near the top. Had I voted for my favorite interview of 1999, I would have gone with the Turner interview that I did by telephone in late September from Louisiana.
Turner, 30, has hung out with many of the earlier generation-including Tabby Thomas, Buddy Guy, Henry Gray, Raful Neal, Lonnie Brooks, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan (on his liner notes, Turner dedicates this CD to Collins and Vaughan, "my friends and mentors"). He has spent an inordinate amount of time with the Neal family and has nearly been considered a member of that first family of the blues.
Turner has played behind Raful Neal, toured with Kenny Neal, and was in a high school garage band with Kenny's younger brothers, Frederick and Darnell. But Turner has influences stretching beyond the Baton Rouge, La. blues scene, from the late Jimi Hendrix and SRV to Prince (or the symbol guy). Covers include a scorching cut of the Freddie King/Sonny Thompson classic "Hide Away" and Jerry Lynn Williams' "Lonely Café" and Turner originals "Blues On My Back," "Later Than You Think" and "No Hard Feelings."
Turner is a nice and fresh new voice out there on the blues-rock scene. His guitar playing alone makes this CD a worthwhile purchase.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Matt Alcott, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.