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No Mercy

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Album Review

When it comes to the blues, it seems like there are two different camps — those who are staunch authentic blues enthusiasts, and those who like their blues amped up with a decidedly rock approach. On his 1996 live release, No Mercy, singer/guitarist Bernard Allison certainly falls under the latter category. As with the majority of modern-day blues-rockers, Allison focuses mostly on covers of vintage blues tunes, with the odd original (or more accurately, one lone original — "Next Generation") thrown in for good measure. With Allison backed by a group of studio pros, No Mercy captures blues at its most well-honed — the complete opposite of the grittiness of the original bluesmen — especially on such tracks as the album-opening "Rock Me Baby" and "Breakin' Up Somebody's Home." Also included are a pair of tributes to Bernard's father, Luther Allison ("Change Your Way of Living" and "Help") as well as a reading of "Tin Pan Alley," which is very reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan's version (on his classic Couldn't Stand the Weather release). If you're an admirer of modern-day blues-rock, then No Mercy is certainly worth a spin.

Biography

Born: 26 November 1965 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Bernard Allison is the guitar-playing, singing, and songwriting son of late legendary blues guitarist Luther Allison. True to form for this chip off the old block, the young Allison injects every bit as much energy into his live shows as his father did. Bernard counts among his influences icons like Albert King, Muddy Waters, and Freddie King, and later, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter. He began accompanying his famous father to blues festivals in the early '70s. There, he was introduced to...
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No Mercy, Bernard Allison
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