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Guy King

Joy is Coming

Review by Gary Hill

I was under the impression that Guy King was a blues guitarist. That is one part of his picture. He's also a jazz musician, though. I think this album is a bit unbalanced. Personally, I feel the songs that land more on the blues side of the equation are the better ones. Unfortunately, he starts and ends the set with two of the more lackluster songs. Moving some tracks around would have made for a much stronger release, I think. Still, there is nothing that's weak enough to be considered a "skip" worthy track. It's just that there are some songs that really stand particularly tall, and I think they should have been given more prominent positions here. It should also be mentioned that the guest appearance of Joe Bonamassa is noteworthy.

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Track by Track Review
Joy is Coming
This is a funktabulous slab of retro sounding music. There is a healthy helping of jazz in the mix.  This is a solid tune, but definitely not the best choice to open the disc. In fact, while this is good, it just might be the weakest thing here.
Devil's Toy (Featuring Joe Bonamassa)
There is still a bit of funk on this cut, but the track is more of a pure blues excursion. I think the symphonic strings are a bit over the top, but the backing vocals work well. Joe Bonamassa's guitar is magical, as always. This tune really rocks later.
There is almost a gospel pop rock vibe to this. It still has blues in the mix, though. This is a bit lightweight for my tastes, but I really dig the hooks and the guitar solo.
Now, this energized blues romp is a lot of fun. I dig the horns on the number. Every thing about this just works so well. It's one of the highlights of the set for sure.
Hole in My Soul
There a funky angle in the mix on this, but overall this is another smoking hot blues number. It's high energy and really grooves. It's another standout.
Oh, Sarah
This seems to merge reggae and 50s rock and roll. It's a fun romp, but not really on an equal par with the last couple tracks.
Don't Do It (If You Don't Want To Do It)
We're back into the blues with style on this number. It has a healthy helping of jazz in the mix, too.
Up, Up, Up (Featuring Vanessa Bell Armstrong)
I really dig the blues guitar jamming that opens this. The cut launches out into more smoking hot blues. Vanessa Bell Armstrong's vocal as part of the duet really bring something special. There is a gospel, church music vibe to this. It's another fun song. The arrangement on this gets pretty powerful and driving as it keeps building.
A Prayer for Me
Here we get a slow blues. It is a very traditional sounding thing with guitar and piano at its heart.
Looking for You
Another funky blues tune is on the menu here. I'm reminded a little of Robert Cray on this tune. It works well, but I tend think that "Up, Up, Up" would have been more effective as the closer and this should have been in that slot on the disc. That said, the guitar solo section does elevate this quite a bit.
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