Steve Guyger Radio Blues

As Aesop taught us, slow and steady wins the race. The hardly prolific Guyger (with his fourth release in 40 years) is the epitome of a hard-learned Chicago blues education, schooling with Jimmy Rogers, Steve Freund and James Cotton, sitting in with anyone in need of his precise, emotive tone, one recalling William Clarke and Little Walter. Radio Blues finds Guyger in synch with a band consisting of wild man Johnny Moeller (guitar), Steve Gomes (bass), Robb Stupka (drums) and Bill Heid (keyboards). Fourteen tracks later, you’re hooked by Guyger’s cool, laidback approach and solid feel. With ten of the 14 tracks being originals, Guyger demonstrates a grasp of the medium that can only be called inspirational and this moody collection of subtle masterpieces grows on you the more you play it. Running a true gamut of styles, the slinky "Cool in the Evening” is quick to register, featuring some stand-up piano from Heid. "School is Over” mines a sultry Latin groove with some great guitar from Moeller, while "I’m Shakin’” underlines Guyger’s understated vocal strength as the band make the most of a killer groove. Guyger digs into his marrow with the soulful "I Can See by your Eyes” and, lest there be any question, Guyger digs deep on Joe Liggins’ "Honeydripper” while the seasoned band sit back and let Guyger do what he clearly does best. A tasteful study in restraint and disciplined application of subtle colours, Radio Blues is a true gem. (Severn)