Paul Fenton Worldwide Slide

This Ottawa native is a talented slide guitarist who instantly rekindles some of the greatest players of the ’70s: Rory Gallagher, Peter Green and Duane Allman, but he has few songs and he can't sing, and does. The result is moments of fleeting brilliance coupled with enough irksome detours to hamper the overall effect. Too bad, because his live show demonstrates his obvious skill at filling a stage – from his overly image-conscious stage presence to his ability at snapping off a combination of lethal leads and rhythm muscle. Secret weapon of the live show is gun-for-hire, Robb Sheik – proving that Fenton could go somewhere, relieved of some of the pressures of doing it all. He can't. And things fall quite flat on this recording with a few exceptions. The bizarre choice of coupling accordion with slide guitar makes for an intriguing experiment that does have some staying power. And his covers are inventive – specifically Willy Dixon's "Spoonful" and Muddy Waters' "Gypsy Woman," featuring some mouth-watering steel guitar. Fenton's laconic, Peter Green-like vocals almost pull off the odd number, including "If You Want Me to Love You" and "Find My Mind." "In My Arms" makes for a driving road song, give or take the vocals. The use of slide – throughout – screams of potential and conjures memories of early Climax Blues Band and other white, British blues stalwarts. But it's time for a huddle in management's office to make the most of what Fenton does best. (Independent)