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Sugar Lips

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Album Review

Murali Coryell is the son of Texas-born jazz guitar legend Larry Coryell, but at heart, he's an old-school rock & roller. Playing Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster electric guitars, the younger Coryell likes to play lean and mean; though his voice is good, it's not particularly distinctive, but a work in progress. He also has a soft spot in his heart for authentic blues, boogie, and the occasional reflective soul song. Father Larry shows up on several of these selections, as does Joe Louis Walker, and in tandem with drummer/co-songwriter Tom Hambridge, keyboardist Reese Wynans, and bassist Steve Mackey, Murali thoroughly enjoys tearing it up on this set of all originals. One song in particular is emotionally riveting: "Mother's Day" is an acoustic guitar feature with both Coryells, and is dedicated to Julie Coryell, who passed away in 2009 on this intended celebratory, but instead, memorial day. Otherwise, the pronounced boogie school of rock is heard during "Blame It on Me" with a small horn section, and in the John Lee Hooker style for the title track. More in the electric blues vein, "I Still Do" with Walker has that classic Chicago feeling, while "Minor Funk" has Walker singing with Murali and has hot potential. Most of the music is more funky than 12-bar, with "What You Gonna Do About Me?" done in contemporary Robert Cray fashion, while "I Could've Had You" combines acoustic and Stratocaster in a thoughtful mood, and "Closer to You Baby" is played in a pop vein à la the Doobie Brothers. The retro "Still Rockin'" is straight out of Chuck Berry's bag, bringing it all back home. With his background, Murali Coryell can't help but be diverse and try different things, while staying true to his roots and his dad's get-down attitude. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s

Although he's the son of fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, Murali Coryell chose not to follow in the same style of music as his father -- he specializes in blues and soul. Coryell issued his debut album in 1995, Eyes Wide Open, following it up four years later with 2120 (recorded at Todd Rundgren's Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY, it became the first ever album issued by new label CZYZ, created by the sons of original Chess Records founders Leonard and Phil -- Marshall and Kevin Chess) enlisting...
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Sugar Lips, Murali Coryell
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