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CD Review
Eddie Turner

(Northern Blues Music – NBM 0027)
by Dave “Doc” Piltz
Review Date: May 2005

When I received my copy of Eddie Turner’s debut solo recording, Rise, my main interest in listening to the music was because of Turner’s association with one of my favorite “contemporary” blues artists, Otis Taylor. From my experience, I knew that Taylor’s “otherworldly” sound as created to some degree by Turner’s unique guitar work. However, after reading Eddie Turner’s bio, I was even more intrigued because of Turner’s affiliation with one of my all time favorite underground rock bands, Denver’s own Zephyr. It was therefore with great anticipation that I popped Rise into my CD player for the first time.

The CD opens with the albums title track, “Rise”, reflecting Turner’s influence on the now well known sound of Otis Taylor. The opener has a nice “walking” feel to it and includes some nice signature guitar by Turner, backed by the incomparable Kenny Passarelli on bass and Mark Clark on drums. Turner’s vocals are excellent and his voice proves to be very well suited to all the material on the CD. The opener is followed by a more bluesy number, “Ask Myself Why,” with a traditional slow blues feel.

Following a fantastic screaming guitar laden blues called “The River”, Turner provides his own unique take on the first of only three covers on the recording; the Jimi Hendrix classic, “The Wind Cries Mary.” Turner’s treatment of this song is wholly original, yet I was left with the feeling that Mr. Hendrix would have gladly approved of Turner’s interpretation of the song.

Turner moves ahead, performing two original instrumental numbers, with the exceptional sound of “Resurrection,” followed by the rock-tinged “It’s Me.” These to fine numbers are followed by the second of the cover songs, this time a Johnny “Guitar” Watson standard, “Gangster of Love.” Though Turner’s rendition of this classic is not nearly so cutting edge as his interpretation of Hendrix, “Gangster” is still a great song with lots and lots of guitar and Passarelli’s heavy bass line.

One of my favorite songs on Rise is the chanting original entitled “Sin”, dominated by Turner’s outstanding vocals and the selected insertion of guitar fills in all of the right places. The song is the shortest on the CD, but one of the best. Following “Sin,” Turner finishes off his covers with Freddie King’s “Play It Cool,” complete with more extremely impressive guitar and Turner’s speaking/singing vocals.

Rise closes out with three more fine original numbers; “Privileged Life,” with a familiar recurring guitar riff (heard on Alana Miles, “Black Velvet”); “Confusion Illusion,” a funkier tune in the spirit of the previously mentioned funk master, Johnny “Guitar” Watson; and finally, “Secret,” a rhythmic, ethereal ending to a 100% well done recording.

Eddie Turner’s Rise does an excellent job of establishing the guitarist’s talent as a singer/songwriter and a solo performer with his own personal brand of star power. Turner is definitely a music force to e heard from again, hopefully sooner than later. To learn more about Eddie Turner and his debut CD Rise, visit the Northern Blues Music website at www.northernblues.com and support this rising star by purchasing a copy of the CD.

From the Blues On Stage website




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