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Call on the Blues

Mark May

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Album Review

Not only did Mark May's 1995 debut, Call on the Blues, please blues fans and critics, it earned him a tryout with the Allman Brothers. A mutual friend turned former Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts on to May's album — and while May didn't get the gig, he did open for the band on a few occasions. Betts was most impressed by May's singing — and for good reason. Throughout Call on the Blues, May's chameleon-like vocals toy with the color barrier, fluctuating effortlessly between a salty redneck drawl and a silky R&B croon not unlike Robert Cray's. On guitar, he boasts a barbed precision that recalls the late Albert Collins, the sort of full-on command of his instrument — equal parts raw feel and technical polish — that can't be fudged. Maybe that's why May has earned the respect of Joe "Guitar" Hughes, a childhood friend of the Collins. Hughes even lent his six-string expertise to Call on the Blues' instrumental tribute to Collins, "Hail to the Iceman."

Biography

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Music was a part of Mark May's life from an early age. A brother had worked with Pure Prairie League's Craig Fuller, and his mom was drawn to the strains of country and bluegrass. A native of Ohio, the blues guitarist began learning to play the instrument when he was five years old, and during his teen years he became involved with several bands. By the time he'd turned 16, he had played the first of what would become many professional gigs. Upon relocating to Houston during the early '80s, May continued...
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Call on the Blues, Mark May
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