Bradleyboy Macarthur Salt Gun

Along with kindred spirits CATL, MacArthur is helping give the rather staid Toronto, ON blues scene a much-needed adrenalin boost. This is blues stripped-down and naked, dirty, primal, raw, and clearly indebted to punk rock. He's a one-man band, in the tradition of Scott H. Biram (an acknowledged inspiration), and Salt Gun was recorded live-off-the-floor at his home studio, the Red Room. No slick guitar solos and studio tricks here, MacArthur has clearly listened to R.L. Burnside and the Fat Possum posse. He may hail from rural Ontario, not the Delta, but MacArthur's gruff vocals and ferocious guitar playing are suitably authentic. A graduate of bands like the Drunken Ex-Boyfriends, Kent Boys and the Town Hall Criers, he's been doing this for a quarter-century, so he's not some young hipster who has just discovered Robert Johnson. There's a ZZ Top boogie feel to "Chickenblood," an album highlight, while the riffing on "Callin' Your Name" evokes the Velvet Underground. Just when the generally relentless sonic assault starts to wear thin, MacArthur slows things down and delivers his best vocal performance on closing track "What Is True." This Gun finds its mark. (Awesome Music)