sophomore solo release, coming just a year after his first
album, stays in the same groove as his well received 2005 offering.
That album nabbed a Blues Music Award nomination for Best New Artist
Debut and this one is just as impressive. Maybe he's making up for
lost time since the guitarist has been at it as a sideman for three
decades starting with his work in the legendary Zephyr. But whatever
the reason, this is another gripping slab of searing, imaginative
blues rock. Detractors will likely peg the singer/guitarist as yet
another Hendrix clone, but despite the eerie vocal similarities, there
is far more going on here. Most of the personnel from the first disc
contribute their talents including producer/bassist Kenny Passarelli
and drummer Mark Clarke. But this is very much Turner's show as he
shifts from fluid, electric guitar raveups to the more spooky, slinky
vibe of "I'm a Man, I'm a Man." An underlying voodoo funk
album, infusing a slithery and rather dark intensity to this blues
based material. It's similar to the ominous feel that pervades the
work of Turner's longtime associate Otis Taylor. Fiery percussion
drives the title track and gospel female background vocals add a
religious slap to the song's edgy and passionate tale of redemption.
Little of this disc is straight ahead blues, but the genre is never
far away in the mix, especially on the slower riff grind of the
instrumental "Pomade." Turner plays like a caged tiger before
mealtime, pacing and building his taut solos to crescendos and
overdubbing himself to striking effect. Although he shares lots of
Hendrix's singing tics, it's obvious he's no mere second rate copy,
either vocally or instrumentally. A few tracks such as "Jody"
his style into feisty pop melodies, but most songs shapeshift from
spacey to muscular as Turner leads them with his quicksilver guitar.
terrific followup to Rise that even bests it at times, The Turner
Diaries is a stunning example of how a seemingly lifelong backing
musician can step up, even later in his career, to reveal frontman