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James Armstrong – Dark Night

 
Dark Night

James Armstrong comes back from an intruder attack in his own home to serve up a record brimming with blues fire. He can’t play guitar like he did in the past because of the attack, but he has learned to play some nasty slide. And the soloing of Michael Ross and friends Joe Louis Walker and Doug Macleod is as solid as it gets.

The feel covers all the R&B bases, and covers them well. If funky southern soul is your bag, check out “Too Many Misses for Me.” Great shuffles like “Bank of Love” are everywhere. The slow blues of “Standing In Your Way” features some nasty guitar. And the very funky tribute to his son “Lil’ James” is marvelous, musically and lyrically. It’s somewhat of a miracle, but his two-and-a-half year old son was thrown off a second-story balcony in the attack on Armstrong, and survived unhurt.

That attack does leave a somewhat world-weary (or should we say wary?) feel to some of the vocals and lyrics. And why wouldn’t it? All in all, this is a fine album. It’s good to still have your voice, James.



This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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