Bernard Allison Across The Water

It can be no picnic growing up in the shadow of your father, but Bernard Allison is not only holding his own, he's continuing his father's tradition of guitar-scorched blues and adding his personal stamp along the way. Whereas his late father mined a somewhat more traditional Chicago blues, laced with his signature fiery guitar leads, Bernard leans towards a funked-up composite that is often closer to straight rock. His vocals are not his strongest suit, but Bernard makes even more of the Hendrix-style championed so successfully by his dad. In fact, Bernard's guitar burns and blisters harder and faster across much of this release and his tone is to die for. His seventh release is full of surprises and the wins outweigh the wrong numbers. He reinvents Colin James's "I Just Came To Say Goodbye" with tougher guitar lines and an added rhythmic sense. "Coming Back (Across The Water) features razor sharp slabs of lead, but suffers from his limited vocal range. His guitar positively smoulders on the track's killer "I've Been Down" and his voice better matched to the material, should point the way to the next exciting chapter of this soon-to-be blues giant's tale. (True North)