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The nice side of the blues

Nature of the Beast
Nature of the Beast
By Clarence Spady

Evidence Music: 1996

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This review first appeared in the November 29, 1996 issue of the North County Times.

Clarence Spady is smack dab in the middle of the school of nice blues. His music, both originals and covers, maintains an easy gait, never hurried. And while there's a world-wise weariness to some of his tunes, there's nary a hint of anger or rage.

Which is okay – Spady's smart guitar playing and warm, relaxed vocals lend themselves well to his smooth brand of the blues. And producers Scott Goldman and Jerry Gordon have surrounded him with a large horn section that complements his playing and singing.

The one spot where it doesn't quite work is where Spady tries to dip into the dark side of the blues, on a cover of Son Seals' "Bad Axe." It's like watching Mary Tyler Moore play a hooker – you can admire the effort, but it just doesn't fit.