Garrett Mason Love & Sound

Garrett Mason's debut, I'm A Man, won the 2005 Juno for Blues Album of the Year. It a nice way for the son of the late Dutch Mason to announce he was ready to make a name for himself. It was with little fanfare that in July of 2008 Mason released his encore, Love & Sound. Available at gigs and his website, it's a shame this great follow-up has flown under the radar. Calling his sound "funk-a-billy blues soul," Mason produced the recording using "old ways to make something new." The resulting 11 originals sound like vintage '60s Memphis sessions, with Albert King licks fusing with the fatback of a classic M.G.s jam. Mason takes his time, never rushing the solos, leaving plenty of breathing space for his tight rhythm section. The set's highlight is the moody "Grapple Hold," singing, "it only comes from deep down in your soul" before an angular guitar break that would make the recently passed Robert Ward smile. (Independent)