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When the Washington-state-based bluesman cut this album, his second, in 1983, Robert Cray was still four years away from his major-label, US Top 40 hit "Smoking Gun". Nonetheless, his signature sound is intact: horn-coloured Stax-style arrangements, a backbeat laced with funk, Cray's own gospelised vocals, and the stiletto-tipped notes that he rips from his Stratocaster. A few years later Eric Clapton covered the title song; but what's most fun here is listening to Cray pay homage to his good influences. He covers numbers by Johnny "Guitar" Watson and Eddie Floyd, and charges into his guitar solos with a brittle tone and bristling attack that at times recalls the underrated Watson, Cray's mentor Albert Collins and Chicago legend Buddy Guy. But it is really the sound of a modern virtuoso distilling his craft from the raw material of blues history. --Ted Drozdowski