Colin Linden Raised By Wolves

Few are aware of the depth of Colin Linden's involvement behind the Canadian music scene: he's appeared on over 150 albums, produced award-winning albums for Bruce Cockburn, and Morgan Davis, released six solo albums and recently scored a Juno Award for his successful side project, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. A Canadian counterpart to Ry Cooder - his claim-to-fame is his slide guitar playing and an almost religious commitment to celebrating those who inspire him. Meeting Howling Wolf at an impressionable age left a blues-based impression on Linden, yet his take on the blues is heavily roots-based. Linden and musical soul mate/keyboardist Richard Bell have both played with the Band, and this influence is unmistakable. Raised By Wolves delivers dollops of tasteful slide guitar, yet is heavily influenced by New Orleans and the distinctive sound of the Crescent City horns keep things upbeat. The album's softer songs are the ones that hit their mark, however. The haunting, Lanois-esque "Raging River" is the album's crowning achievement, with lazy, sultry slide laid against Bell's dark, threatening organ backdrop before segueing into the upbeat country blues of "Easy Rider." Linden's occasionally strained vocals are rounded out by pals Cockburn, Colin James, Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing. Truly a high-energy, wild mix of sounds, Raised By Wolves offers an intimate glimpse into this soft-spoken legend in the making. (Sony)