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Some great blues guitar

Wild Animal
Wild Animal
By Tiger Gagan

6161 Records: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in December 2007.

Opening with a Ronnie-Earl like blues riff on Elmore James' "Pickin' the Blues," the little-known Tiger Gagan leads his blues trio through some of the hottest Southwestern-flavored blues you'll ever hear outside of Texas. (Gagan is based out of that noted blues hotbed, Nashville.)

Invoking inevitable comparisons to everyone from the renowned Earl to Don Leady of the Tail Gators, from Los Straitjackets to Atlanta's Reddog, Gagan displays both supremely impressive technical virtuosity and impeccable taste. The man (photos on his Web site indicate he's closer to a grayback than cub) simply knows which notes to play to get the feeling he's looking for, and never lets a desire to impress get in the way. Bending notes while simultaneously picking them like a claw-hammer banjo player, Tiger has created an album that's as much fun to listen to as anything heard in '07.