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Young guitarist, singer makes good impression

Delta Hurricane
Delta Hurricane
By Larry McCray

Pointblank / Virgin Records: 1993

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This review first appeared in the Spring 1994 edition of Blues Revue Quarterly magazine (now Blues Revue).

Larry McCray's new album has an approach to the blues much like that of B.B. King: There are big, fat horn charts backing the young guitarist and singer, an all-female backing chorus, and plenty of room for guitar solos. The style of the music is similar, too: electric, contemporary blues that somehow approaches rock in its accessibility.

To be fair to McCray, his guitar solos have much more punch that King's, with a lot of Texas influence and more bent notes. Shades of T-Bone Walker and Albert Collins can be heard in his playing, but he still has a musical voice all his own. And when he's not soloing, he plays a mean rhythm guitar that helps give his music its edge.

McCray's singing is as good as his guitar playing. He has a smooth voice that can handle both tenor and baritone duties, and can still can down and growl on occasion.

The songs – most of which were written by Dave Steen – are consistently solid, with the title cut being outstanding. The backing band, including Noel Neal – Kenny's younger brother – is tight.

The only complaint might be that the album is a bit overproduced; it tends to be a little heavy with the backing vocals. That's a pretty minor complaint of a very god album, though.