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Thirty Tigers

John Oates - half of the mighty Hall & Oates - says this is the al­bum he’s al­ways wanted to make; dix­ieland dipped in blue­grass and salted with Delta blues. It cer­tainly is dif­fer­ent with lots of acous­tic gui­tars and clean-toned electrics play­ing a va­ri­ety of songs rang­ing from cov­ers to new com­po­si­tions. Ac­com­pa­ny­ing John is a stel­lar band in­clud­ing elec­tric vir­tu­oso Guthrie Trapp and man­dolin mas­ter Sam Bush, so ex­pect some out­stand­ing play­ing and ar­range­ments. Start­ing out as a trib­ute to Mis­sis­sippi John Hurt, the 10-song mix is vi­brant and well pro­duced. The ti­tle track (one of two of Oates’s songs fea­tured) shows he has a splen­did voice and fine gui­tar style. His acous­tic ‘Carter’ pick­ing sounds great on John Hurt’s My Cre­ole Belle, aug­mented by Bush’s man­dolin and Trapp’s elec­tric. For more rootsy elec­tric stuff, check out the lilt­ing groove on Pal­let Soft And Low where there’s a lovely solo. Best track is Miss The Mis­sis­sippi And You; the smooth vo­cals and lovely band fram­ing be­hind Oates’s acous­tic gui­tar is ex­quis­ite. In short, it’s one fan­tas­tic al­bum!

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