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Album review: 'Blues and Country'


Roger Kuhn

"Blues and Country"


Intrepid bluesman Roger Kuhn is back with a highly anticipated new one he calls "Blues and Country." Kuhn has that rare gift of sounding the same in the studio as he does on some random street corner in downtown Rochester. That's right: we've got ourselves a for sure busker here. And Kuhn's a good 'un, too — he's a fearless and unpredictable one.

The problem is that this new record, "Blues and Country," it ain't done. I'm not sure what the hurry was all about. The tone and attitude, as well as the digits and slide dexterity, are all there. But these are all shuffles that aren't supposed to dominate like instrumentals. Still, some tunes manage to make it through without the added dimension of a story, like "Revelator Blues," the best of the bunch along with "New Stella Blues" and "Barrett Place Blues."

What's missing is Kuhn's voice and its witty, self-deprecating Upstate drawl. Of the album's 14 tracks, just three have lyrics. Kuhn's rhythm and bump serves the air well, but it begs for words to slither about his Delta slide boogie, where he's received the most influence. "Blues and Country" has its moments and Kuhn's appeal is there, but the album needed to stay on the grill a little longer.