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A serious guitar fix

Neal Black & the Healers
Neal Black and the Healers
By Neal Black & the Healers

Deluge: 1995

This review first appeared in the April 28, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Do we really need another blues-based guitar-slinging singer from Texas? Someone else to be held up to Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan, with all the unreasonable expectations and subsequent disappointments that seems to entail?

Hell, if they can play this good, why not? Neal Black plays a meaty, gristle-choked guitar and sings like the Marlboro Man at the end of a long day. He's somewhere between the Allman Brothers, Howlin' Wolf and Merle Haggard – but with a darker disposition than any of them.

Black's guitar playing is so outstanding and his songwriting so catchy and fresh, you'll have a hard time getting this CD out of your stereo. His blues-based licks are always soaring off in some new direction, and he never lets a desire for speed overcome the need for taste and restraint.

Now, as talented as he is, Black is unlikely to be getting airplay anytime soon. Lyrics like "I don't get the blues when I'm stoned" just aren't going to fly in these hypersensitive times.

But if find yourself in need of a serious guitar fix, this album ought to do the trick.