For his debut “solo” release, blues guitarist and longtime side man Eddie “Devil Boy” Turner falls into a trap common with records of this sort: He dedicates multiple tracks to showcasing all the different styles and vibes he can groove with. For diehards that may not be an issue, but for the uninitiated it can be confusing.
The title track of this 2005 album starts the record off with a moody, almost psychedelic vibe, one which I suspect would meet its full potential live. I would echo that sentiment on just about every track, except for the instrumental “It’s Me,” which lurks smack dab in the middle of the record. This is a cut that boils with energy, and Turner’s guitar playing is on full display. The man can play, I only wish his licks were a little more up front throughout as I’m sure they are live. “The Wind Cries Mary” may be intended as a nod to inspiration, but the song is a bit tired.
Fans of Robert Cray and late-period Stevie Ray Vaughn should find plenty to like here. Rise represents a fine introduction to an excellent player, but I don’t think Eddie Turner can be properly appreciated until you see him live.
Eddie Turner plays Sean Kelly’s Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20, at 9 PM. Cover TBA.