Blues Revue
West Virginia, USA
June/July 2003

Michael Pickett must be one of Canada's top acoustic blues artists.

The well-recorded SOLO (Wooden Teeth 003) proves him to be a convincing singer, delivering standards by Robert Johnson and Sticks and Brownie McGhee between excellent originals. Harmonica flourishes dot the brooding, Skip James-derived "The 'hood," one of several harrowing, minor-key blues, but Pickett's guitar work, both fretted and bottleneck, is at the set's heart. In addition to deep Delta rhythms, Pickett hints at a more rolling, melodic style on the Brownie McGhee numbers and his own "Bill's Song," and he livens up the hip, heavily syncopated "Cecil & Spadina" with string-snapping and slaps to the face of his guitar. A keen sense of time and strong personality add to Pickett's effectiveness.


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