Old New Borrowed And Blues
Review by Mike Garner
A degree in Jazz guitar is an unorthodox route into blues, as different from 'paying your dues' as you can get. This old cynic, at least would expect an overplay of technique and an underplay of feeling. Allison, mercifully avoids the worst excesses of the over schooled. In fact she's been listening to the masters. Albert Collins is neatly credited in "Turn Up The AC" and she plays effortlessly in his style. "I 35 South" starts with a Texas, "Cold Shot" feel. While you can pick the influences, this is not a CD stuffed with well know covers. Five of the cuts are, in fact, penned by Allison herself and the covers are well chosen.
Allison plays with feeling at the heart of post war blues. Not a singer, she enlists 'Mister Blues' an old timer originally from Texas as vocalist. A veteran of the LA blues clubs, he brings authentic, laid back vocals into the mix and provides a foil for Allison's guitar. James Murray plays modern inflected harmonica lines with skill. These elements come together especially well on the slow blues "Open House At My House".
Showing she still has some of those college jazz chops, there is "Four Down Jump". On "I Want To Park My Hot Rod" she has the band swinging like mad.
The very slow version of "I Just Got To Know", with Murphy's chromatic harp has "Mister Blues" singing in a deep growling register and stinging but subtle lead from Allison.
A fine first album from Californian Kimberly Allison. You can get it direct from her at: