Eddie Turner – Change In Me
Opening his 4th studio LP with a slow bluesy-soul cut supported by excellent female vocalist Jessie Lee Thetford the title track of guitar wiz Eddie Turner’s new collection was cooked on a low-blue flame. Ten songs stirred gently in a blues cauldron. Mixed in with spices that came from Jimi Hendrix’s pantry & Keb Mo’s spice rack. There’s a definite recipe followed but Turner has added his own splashes of red wine to add flavor.
“Dignify,” musically comes off with balanced power. Though perhaps not all listeners will agree with the subject. It’s a well-arranged exploration of the past worthy of consideration. But no one alive today is responsible for the past. People can help make things better but a word like “reparations” will have some wincing. Turner assuredly performs the song with dignity.
A Jimi Hendrix cover (from “The Cry of Love,” LP) — “My Friend” is cool because it’s not the average Jimi song to cover. Turner maintains a Hendrix atmosphere with his Fender while using a Keb’ Mo vocal tone. Carved from the blues Turner adds Delta sizzle, a pinch of jazz, & world music colors. His clever lyrics sung expressively & with authority add significance (“This Is Your Night”).
Change In Me (7-14 Records-Drops May 14) features the Cuban-born Chicago-bred Turner shaping a respective style reserved yet evocative. He worked with the late remarkable Candy Givens’ & her band Zephyr (Tommy Bolin was its original lead guitarist). Then, played 10 years in the Otis Taylor Band (5 LPs). Turner’s musical skin is seasoned & toughened.
Knotting an old Lou Reed song “I’m Waiting For the Man” with Taj Mahal’s “She Caught the Katy,” was a heady mixture. Turner’s tenor with its Garland Jeffries edge against the honey seductive vocal shimmer of Ms. Thetford made for an exceptional stinging duet together. Takes a Velvet Underground tune & solders it into a soulful distillation.
The only apparent criticism: some songs maintain a more retro style despite being performed with luster & competency. Turner’s diversified — but still lacks that skill & attraction that solidifies an individual style. His influences may still be too apparent.
“Hootchie Kootchie Man,” however — is a tight bluesy-rocker with nothing but a viable Turner brand. Controlled fire — hot all the way. “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa,” is anchored in a creative jazzy arrangement. Turner’s inspired vocals still typical Keb’ Mo. “Soul Run Free,” is a good ballad accentuating a trumpet that works well with Turner’s warm voice.
Meticulous playing & good songs — the LP is worth a listen. Produced by Turner, Kenny Passarelli (keyboards/bass/vocals), & Tim Stroh. The CD features Neal Evans (B-3/drums), with Dean Oldencott & David Brenowitz (drums). The 45-minute CD is available at Amazon & https://eddieturner.net/