Vargas Blues Band Love, Union, Peace

An intriguing disc, Love, Union, Peace represents the fifth by Spain’s best-kept secret, Javier Vargas, who knows a thing or two about marketing. Thick slabs of Latino blues rock guitar (with just a hint of Carlos) get the guest vocalist treatment across 13 tracks by no less than Jack Bruce, Glenn Hughes, Elliot Murphy and Devon Allman. Toss in support from Double Trouble’s Reese Wynans and an assist from Memphis’ Ardent Studios and how can this lose? There is no lack of talent in Vargas’s fiery fretwork, yet the revolving door of support staff leaves the listener wanting more of Vargas. Choice cuts include the flamenco-driven instrumental "Aqua Clara” (featuring Juan Gomez "Chicuelo” on guitar), the crisp Latino drive of "Celos” and the soft yet soulful instrumental "God Gives Me Strength” — proving that his own voice may be his strongest suit. (Warner)