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Eddie Turner: Rise (NorthernBlues)

The title track "Rise" opens this album and indeed summons you to the table of Eddie Turner who serves up some Blues ala Jimi Hendrix with a little on the side. There’s a conventional presentation to the first couple of tracks that gets knocked out of the box with the brilliant "The River" which features several layers of Dobro guitar that all fit together nicely.

"The Wind Cries Mary" is presented in a very subtle form that has the soul of Jimi Hendrix written all over it. Eddie shows he has a very nice touch and doesn’t want to kill his guitar (there’s a few too many of those guys out there). Excellent production on this tune by Kenny Passarelli who also holds down the bass parts. Passarelli, of Joe Walsh, Dan Fogelberg and Elton John fame, has produced this entire effort and there’s a mutual admiration between Kenny and Eddie.

"Resurrection" definitely rises up with various textures of guitars in this instrumental. "It’s Me" is more guitar anthem than any other song on this album. Another instrumental that showcases Eddie’s electric capabilities and gives the impression that he’s fairly well rounded across instruments, i.e. electric, acoustic, dobro, etc. This may be what the guitar cravers are looking for.

"Gangster of Love" cruises along at a pretty fast speed with a LaGrange (ZZ Top) feel to it. Nice lead guitar work on this tune by Eddie, strange ending though – it’s a fairly short song at 2 minutes. Another short song, "Sin", follows that starts out a capella and should end that way, but unfortunately there’s some ambient guitar effects in the background.

"Play it Cool" is a slow twelve bar blues that goes for sexy and succeeds. Nice guitar work on this one by Eddie as well. My only disappointment with this song and with some of the others is that the guitar is mixed to sound rather distant (use of effects). It never really gets right up in your face. I would understand if Eddie Turner was a supporting musician, but since this is his effort, he needs to be more upfront. I also understand the adage of "be careful what you wish for" as there’s enough of the in-your-face guitar players around, but Eddie’s worthy of bumping up.

"Privileged Life" leads with a strong beat and talks about revealing and stripping away pride to get down to the man. Most of Eddie’s songs have a spiritual theme that seems to be right from his heart and soul. "Confusion Allusion" has an interesting beat, with 60’s soul influences, and delivers a message about false witness. "Secret" wraps up the album with a drum loop and has a nice ethereal feel to it. Eddie does best with the chick singers and Anna Givens helps him out on this and the 1st track. I’d like to hear more of her throughout the album because I think it’s a good contrast to Eddie’s voice. I’m not sure who "Devil Boy" is, but he’s also credited with supplying vocals throughout the album.

"Rise" is a good first effort by Eddie Turner that delivers a message of spirituality and emphasizes Eddie’s talents as a songwriter, arranger and musician. It’s a delicate recording and sometimes a little safe. It doesn’t seem that Eddie’s potential is exposed enough on this record though and I think cutting him loose and having him play with his own band (the Eddie Turner Band) over the course of a year would define him more as a front man. He appears too much in the background of his own record and that is a shame for such a talented man.

By Dave Glynn
From Bad Dog Blues




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