Michael Pickett is about as steeped in dead-thumb Mississippi blues as one could be, coming from Canada. His playing is stark but not simplistic, his rack harp adds just the right touch, and his singing is passionate without sounding forced. That all adds up to a very good CD.
Pickett, who has won a gang of awards and Juno nominations in his three decades in the trenches, opens this CD with an impassioned one-chord tribute to his wife Louise, which shows that he has a certain political acumen if nothing else. Of the eleven songs on the CD, he wrote seven of them, and much to my surprise, I liked them. If it's hard to get over as a singer-songwriter, it's exponentially harder to write good blues, but he does it.
He's got it, folks. He's a real student of the blues (just listen to his take on Sonny Terry's "Lose Your Money"), a pro whose voice, harmonica and guitar all form a single unit. Though he's been a member of several bands, I think he's best as a solo artist, and ought to keep doing it.
© 2006 Michael Pickett