Doyle Bramhall II and Smokestack Welcome

This is pretty brutal. The album's opener, "Greenlight," isn't too bad, with it's hyped up tempos and "Cross Town Traffic"-like Hendrix riffing and wailing. Unfortunately, the rest of the record is strictly laid back, Stevie Ray-esque Texas blues played with as much enthusiasm as a Taco Bell worker getting ready for their shift. Something about this genre of blues rock just comes off as insanely artificial and derivative, at the best of times, let alone on straight-up clunkers like the un-originally titled "Problem Child." Hey Doyle, put down those Big Wreck, Stevie Ray and Black Crowes albums and pick up some vintage ZZ Top. (BMG)