John Stracey @ Blues Connections Reviews Crossroads to Freedom

Chris Dair Crossroads To Freedom 

Crossroads To Freedom is written and performed entirely by Chris Dair and is his first album dedicated purely to the blues from the Mississippi delta all the way to the streets of Chicago and beyond!  What is refreshing is that there appears to be no limitation as to how Chris Dair interprets the way his guitar should be played, having jammed with the best of them down the years including Jeff Beck, Peter Green, Rory Gallagher, Jimmy Page, Mark Knopfler and the great Bukka White to name but a few!

 

Crossroads To Freedom gets straight down to business with 'No Reason Blues' that is classic Chicago blues harking back to the Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf era!  Influences abound here as you would expect from such a seasoned musician, with a somewhat mystical sounding 'See The Stars' offering more than a hint of Ravi Shankar, before the Santana inspired instrumental 'Obsession' transcends over proceedings. Some of these recordings might easily lend themselves to a film soundtrack, that incidentally is not new territory for this man who is not afraid to experiment, as is well demonstrated on the innovative title track 'Crossroads To Freedom' which delivers some very interesting psychedelic blues!  'Please Don't Let Me Go' cruises into some really cool jazz tinged blues ahead of the vintage sounding 'Never Comin' Home Blues', which is given some authentic worn vinyl treatment that many listeners may find intriguing?  Right from the first note on the laid back 'I Feel The Need', you become spellbound as his guitar riffs and smooth vocals combine to find the perfect blend and are only set fee once a wailing harmonica introduces 'Lovin' You Too Much', as he connects his wah-wah pedal to unleash some screaming guitar SRV style!  The laid back 'Last Fall' and 'Leavin' Town Blues' lead us well into JJ Cale chartered territory and on 'Ya Smile At Me', he even finds time to mix in some rare juice harp with some good ole country blues.  Listening to 'Goldwater Mountain', you discover a fabulous example of American acoustic roots music (reminiscent of the early Doobie Brothers), before 'Lost In Wasted Time' delivers a dreamy guitar solo that even Roy Buchanan might have taken his hat off to!

 

Crossroads To Freedom is the album you always wanted to own that you could never remember the name of, and it also marks the moment Chris Dair stepped out of the shadows to become a genuine blues artist in his own right!  Check him out on his website at http://www.chrisdairmusic.net/ where you can also order a signed copy of the Crossroads To Freedom CD, and discover what you've been missing!

 

John Stracey Blues Connections

April 2011

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