, Lurrie Bell
's intense second album, is a searing, passionate collection of urban blues laced with the rhythmic fury of vintage '50s R&B and rock & roll. In particular, Bell
works the classic Bo Diddley
shuffle a number of times, tapping into the scary, menacing undertones of Diddley
's primal beats. Not only is his guitar playing white hot, his vocals are gutsy and impassioned -- he makes even the weaker numbers on the album sound convincing. And the songs on Mercurial Son
are varied and intriguing, ranging from rollicking rockers and dense, funky boogie to heartfelt ballads and even an a cappella track. The variety is what makes the album stand out from the pack of contemporary blues releases -- it's one of the more compelling recent blues records.