Review: Guitar Shorty – Bare Knuckle

Posted on: Sunday, Jun 13, 2010

Guitar Shorty

Guitar Shorty

Bare Knuckle

Alligator Records ALCD 4934

Singer/guitarist, David ‘Guitar Shorty’ Kearney, was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Kissimmee, Florida, where he began playing the guitar at an early age. He received his nickname at the age of 16 when a club displayed the notice ‘The Walter Johnson Band featuring Guitar Shorty’. He moved to New Orleans, the West Coast and Seattle where he met his future wife, Marcia, who was a half-sister of Jimi Hendrix. His first UK tour was in 1991 when he recorded My Way Or The Highway with Otis Grand, which won him a WC Handy award.

The Bare Knuckle album rocks instantly into life with “Please Mr President”, which in addition to Shorty and bass player, Wyzard, credits Alligator Records chief, Bruce Iglauer, as a co-composer. James C Johnson’s “Too hard To Love You” creates a funky ambience while Wyzard’s heavier beating “The Sting” boasts some lovely guitar licks.

“Slow Burn” lives up to its title before the Danny Tate/Kenny Wayne Shepherd number, “True Lies” returns to funky mode. The brooding shuffle, “Texas Women”, is followed by the smooth rocker, “Too Late”, complete with some cracking guitar lines, and Bob Halligan Junior’s upbeat “Neverland”.

The slow and bluesy “Betrayed” gives way to “Get Off”, a driving rocker penned by Tom Hambridge and Tommy Castro, before “Bad Memory” calms the tempo a little until the final track, “Temporary Man”, shuffles into view to round things off in fine style.

This is a splendid album that gives full vent to Guitar Shorty’s excellent vocals and lovely guitar work.

Lionel Ross

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