Little Milton Feel It

The fact that 1999's Grammy-nominated Welcome To Little Milton focused a new legion of blues fans on one of the blues' most soulful singers, guitarists and composers was a beautiful turn. It did so by pairing the 67-year-old legend with an eclectic collection of modern blues stars. The best part about this follow-up is that it represents pure Little Milton, unfettered by a smokescreen of unnecessary superstars. Feel It represents Little Milton feeling extremely comfortable in his familiar Malaco surroundings, reinvigorated by the success of Welcome... and performing like the legend that he is. The groove that Little Milton built is characterised by robust, soul-drenched blues vocals, tasteful guitar solos, impeccable horn arrangements, silky-smooth production values and a selection of songs that demonstrate his passion, his sense of style and the eternal twinkle in his eye. There's also a joy and sincerity in his delivery that is ageless and refreshing. Who else could pull off a cover of Lionel Richie's "Lady" and make it his own? Two Milton originals demonstrate his consistent ability to create straight-up blues classics, "I Gotta Get Away From You" and especially "You're Givin' Me The Blues," which showcases the master's subtle guitar prowess. Another highlight is "Baby Let Me Rock You," which features heavenly backing vocals as it demonstrates his gift with simple country-soul. "She Know How To Wear A Hat" takes a page from Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On," leaving much less to the imagination. Little Milton is a man in his element, one clearly enjoying the time of his life, or so it sounds on Feel It. Check out a true original and pass the good news along. (Malaco)