Spun: Various Artists

By Kyle Francis

After listening to the first two songs of this blues sampler, I thought, “If this is the future of the blues, spare me please.” The tracks “Memphis” by Taxi Chain and “Sleepless Dream” by David Jacobs-Strain are nothing more than pleasantly melodic, commercially driven folksy MOR drivel that one might accidentally stumble across on an adult contempo radio station. The good news is that it’s mostly uphill from there.

Dan and Frankie Lee’s “Missing” gets down to a more welcome, funkier blues tune. Though the flute solo seems a bit out of place at first, it works well with the harmonica after a few listens. Glamour Puss offers us some great gritty grooves on the zydeco influenced “Hollow Man,” while “Blues With A Feeling” by Carlos Del Junco showcases this harmonica wizard’s unique approach over some nicely distorted guitar and refreshing rhythms.

The bulk of The Future of the Blues contains a wide assortment of blues styles, combining many genres with varying degrees of success. But if the future of the blues is simply mixing it up with other forms of music, gimme John Lee Hooker any day.

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