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Rhythm & Views

Leon Kittrell and Statesboro

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The strength of this album derives from the sheer versatility with which this immensely seasoned band applies itself to a wide variety of music--all growing from the fertile earth of blues and R&B.

From the zydeco inflections of "Maybell's Place," through the Stax-Volt R&B sound of "Old Country Road," funky roadhouse blues on "Please Tell Me Something" to the ultra-smooth supper-club soul of "Love's in Need of Love Today," One Foot in the Blues proves Kittrell and Statesboro are more than simply Tucson's most experienced blues band.

Frontman Kittrell is a convincingly soulful singer while playing the drums. His voice is perhaps at its best on "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City," a rich slice of hard-boiled, torchy soul.

Much credit for the band's swinging sound must go to saxophonist Clay Brown, whose tenor, alto and soprano hold down the melody in many tunes. Often, he does so, as on the funky jam-band-style "Edgy Goes to Rio," in conjunction with Pat McAndrew on guitar. McAndrew brings the gritty funk to his "Thompson Blues," an homage to the influences that helped give birth to this band.

As producer, rhythm guitarist and master of the keyboards, Brooks Keenan is largely responsible for shaping the sound, but it's a treat when he picks up the blues harp for some piquant blowing.

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