The Turner Diaries
Eddie Turner made a lot of noise last year
with his remarkable debut release, Rise, which was nominated for the
2006 Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut. Definitely not one to
continue plowing through the already well-furrowed blues landscape, the
former lead guitarist for Otis Taylor plunged into uncharted territory
with his debut, which featured his blues, rock, funk, soul, and jazz
influences combined in an impressively eclectic mixture. His incredible
guitar work, highly original but combining aspects of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff
Beck, Tommy Bolin, and even Ry Cooder, further sealed the deal.
recently released follow-up, The Turner Diaries (NorthernBlues Music),
proves to be as adventurous as its predecessor.
The disc kicks off with the hard-rocking “Dangerous,” which modernizes
the traditional “Natural Man” theme, giving it a catchy guitar riff.
It’s a great opening track. “So Many Roads” is not the Otis Rush song,
but is an original by Turner, which has a funk backdrop (keyboards
courtesy of disc producer Kenny Passarelli). “Cost of Freedom” is the
most Hendrix-like track on the disc, and Turner has a soaring guitar
solo at the end that is very reminiscent of the Voodoo Chile.
“I’m A Man” and “Shake 4 Me” are both electrified tributes to the
Mississippi brand of blues, as is “Jody,” a new vibrant look at the
familiar soul/blues theme. The tracks “Confessions,” an instrumental
with a “Hendrix meets Santana” vibe, the psychedelic “New Day,” and
“Pomade,” a bluesy instrumental, all give Turner a chance to display his
formidable guitar chops. A loose-limbed take of the Freddy King classic
“I’m Tore Down” closes the disc on a high note.
Turner’s original compositions were a highlight of his previous disc
and, if anything, he has improved in that department this time around.
The spooky title track and “Save My Life” both drip with tension and
desperation. Most of the other tracks (“I’m Tore Down” is the only
cover) are considerably lighter fare and Turner shows that he is adept
at writing in either style.
If there were any doubts that Eddie Turner was going to be a major force
in the immediate future of the blues, The Turner Diaries should put them
to rest once and for all.
If you liked Rise, you’ll love The Turner
Diaries. Look for Turner to pick up a few more nominations at next
year’s Blues Music Awards.
--- Graham Clarke