Following form a cancer scare at the turn of the century, soft rock guitarist/singer/songwriter Chris Rea turned away from the middle of the road stuff he'd built a successful career out of and started to put out very personal blues albums, of which this is the first.
This is an incredibly impressive album. Rea shows that he has a total mastery of the form, with some great authentic sounding guitar work, and some very well written tracks that sound as though they may be covers of older delta blues tracks, but I was surprised to find they were all written by Rea. The tracks largely tell the story of his recent brush with mortality, and his new view of the world. Very personal, but with that vital spark that raises them to greatness. The final touch is Rea's voice - it is rough and world weary, and sounds as though it was designed for this type of music. It's a perfect combination that will have hardened blues fans in raptures of ecstasy, and will, I think, appeal to anyone who enjoys good music played with a passion.
This version is the single disk set. There is a two disc set `Dancing Down The Stony Road, which contains twice as many tracks and some concert footage.
If you like this then check out Rea's other blues releases, `The Blue Jukebox', the mammoth `Blue Guitars' and `The Return Of The Fabulous Hoffner Bluenotes'. Recommended for all electric blues fans, fans of Rea's older work who are willing to embrace change, and anyone who likes music with meaning.