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Come Back Baby by Linsey Alexander

Come Back Baby by Linsey Alexander

Album Review

Bluesman Linsey Alexander made the leap to Delmark Records for 2012’s Been There Done That. It was a natural home for the Chicago-born guitarist, so it’s not surprising everybody was ready for a second bite at the apple, one that comes in the form of 2014’s Come Back Baby. Working with a combo that contains guitarist Breezy Rodio, keyboardist Roosevelt Purifoy, bassist Greg McDaniel, and drummer Pooky Styx — the anchor that’s occasionally augmented by a horn section and, on three cuts, harpist Billy Branch — Alexander achieves a nice balance between classic Windy City grinds and fresher, funkier workouts. If the bright punch of Robert Koester’s production seems to suit the funkier stuff a bit better than the slow, dirty crawls, Alexander sells both styles, sounding equally committed when he’s digging into the thick “I Got a Woman” (an original, not a Ray Charles cover) or leering with the verve of a younger man on “Booze and Blues,” “Booty Call,” and “Funky Feeling.” He may be “Too Old to Be a New Fool,” as he sings one of his slow 12-bar originals, but he hardly seems spent here.


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