You gotta be kidding me! This 16-year old looks like the clean-scrubbed kid next door on his way to an Eagle Scout meeting, but then you hear him run around the fretboard like a decades honed road vet and, man o man, who the hell was this guy's teacher?!?! Not only that but his band is dead nuts fully behind him, swirling organ and guest harmonica above steadfast bass and drums.
Tucker starts off with a couple relatively mild numbers, his own Your Sacrifice and Muddy Waters' Walkin' in the Park before climbing down into a track the Allman Brothers brought up to date, the Cobbs / McDaniel You Don't Love Me, beginning to show what this gent is really made of. But that's only the intro, really, to the 8:27 take on Stormy Monday with an initial set of solos adopting a soulfully lazy slant before winding up into a prairie cloudburst Duane woulda been proud of. Lester Snell accents the far side of things by tamping his Hammond back into old Jimmy McGriff days with a bit of Lee Michaels tipped in. However, it's not the tempo, the intensity, or the swingin' beats that are so striking from everyone but the confidence and command from Tucker—he's only 16!! On top of that, the guitarist takes a smooth approach to singing—easy, unaffected, kind of a Pat Boone or, oh hell I don't know, Kenny Loggins approach by way of Edu Lobo, particularly cool on the hiply boppin' take on When the Levee Breaks, nothing at all like Zep's version.
The second half of the disc is taken live from a B.B. King Blues Club gig in Memphis and shows Tucker to be just as at ease in front of audiences as in the cloister of soundboards and baffles. I mean, even the guy's dog is hip to what's going down! Take a look at the back liner photo and tell me that cool-cat hound didn't just hear his master run through a series of licks and is thinking "Yeahhhhhhhhh, thas' what it's all about!!!" I suspect the pooch was first audience for his boss' re-do of Jimi's Little Wing, which closes the CD and keeps an icy cool slo-burn almost to the very last, finally giving way to a tempest.
By the way, that surname doesn't show any relation to the reviewer here, but he can come sit on my side of the family tree any damn time he feels like it. I'll even bring the absinthe.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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