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Black Cat Bones, Too Far Gone (Self-Released) 

With this release, Black Cat Bones makes a strong case to be recognized as Tucson's quintessential blues-rock band.

Wearing influences like Johnny Winter, Savoy Brown and Stevie Ray Vaughan on its metaphorical sleeve, Too Far Gone evokes aural images of all these artists and more through nine originals.

Original band-member and vocalist Charles Pitts, who authored or co-authored all of these tunes, somehow stays out in front of a dual-guitar assault that defines most of these songs. And while Jim Nashu and Ken Cosentino occasionally utilize a traditional approach to lead and rhythm guitar, respectively, there's not a whole lot of rhythmic strumming. Instead, we're treated to an assortment of dual lead guitar with sharp, overlapping licks by Cosentino often running counterpoint to Nashu's leads. This approach not only allows these players to shine at what they do best; it also provides added dimension and depth. Cosentino also shows off great slide chops with his work on "Morning Light."

Co-founder Jeff Daniels on bass and Adam Cournoyer on drums make for a solid rhythm section that is equal to the task of keeping up with the guitars. Credit here can be shared by engineer and co-producer Duncan Stitt for working so well outside his (perceived) comfort zone. As an added treat, he adds organ, with Bryan Dean on guitar, to the album's closer and lone ballad, "Time's Sticky Web."

More by Jim Lipson

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