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Bluestones-The Daddy Mack Band

(Inside Sounds)

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Following an album of classic-rock covers earlier this year, the Daddy Mack Band returns to what put them on the map. Frontman Daddy Mack Orr appropriates the fix-it-because-I-can imagery from his other life as a mechanic at his North Memphis auto-repair shop on "Shade Tree Mechanic." The four-minute-plus length of most of Bluestones' gives Orr's guitar some room to un-spool and the tight rhythm section space to jam. Orr's guitar rouses songs that are otherwise encumbered with sub-par lyrics and vocals, and in instrumentals such as "Slim Jenkins' Joint," his guitar is given the full spotlight. The album ends one song too late, with a backwater cover of "Feliz Navidad" that can't overcome the song's inherent kitsch. But the overall effect of Bluestones cements the band's place in the contemporary blues firmament. -- Greg AkersGrade: B+

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