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Kiss of Sweet Blues

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Album Review

A promising guitarist whose personal troubles have perhaps kept him from realizing his full potential, Lurrie Bell rebounded from an early-'90s nadir with the intense and sometimes bizarre Mercurial Son, almost like a Chicago blues version of Skip Spence's Oar. The following 700 Blues was considerably more polished, but 1998's Kiss of Sweet Blues finds a workable middle ground between the two extremes. The songs, mostly by producer/rhythm guitarist Dave Specter and bassist Harlan Terson with Bell contributing only a pair of riff-based instrumentals, aren't as challenging as those on Mercurial Son, but they're entirely credible; "Blues and Black Coffee" and "Hiding in the Spotlight" have the hard-earned intensity to put themselves over even if they lack the earlier album's knife-edge immediacy and sometimes peculiar phrasing. Bell's solos are impeccable throughout, and his backing group, also including funky organist Rob Waters, is tight and admirably resistant to showboating.


Born: 13 December 1958 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Lurrie Bell was born on December 13, 1958, in Chicago. His famous father, harpist Carey Bell, had him working out on guitar as a wee lad. By 1977, he was recording with his dad and playing behind a variety of established stars, tabbed by many observers at the time as a sure star on the rise. But personal problems took their toll on his great potential; Bell's recorded output and live performances were inconsistent in the '80s and early '90s. Among the highlights of Bell's discography are three tracks...
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Kiss of Sweet Blues, Lurrie Bell
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