ian siegalIan Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods deliver some good blues but sound like they could use a bit more mud on their shoes....
Candy Store Kid
Ian Siegal & The Mississippi Mudbloods
Nugene Records
11 tracks / 46 minutes

We're not looking for insightful, artsy music on a blues album. What we hope to find is good, visceral jamming and lyrics that either brag about or lament the artist's love life and, for that matter, life in general. Siegal delivers this and more – but not much more – on Candy Store Kid, a serviceable blues album covering a variety of blues styles with the expected hot licks and brash swagger. The songs work best when Siegal gets into a lower vocal register, hinting at early Captain Beefheart, who cut his teeth on blues songs before becoming the iconic genius of avant-rock that he eventually became. This delivery works best on "Loose Canon" and the strange, half-sung/half spoken "The Fear," the album's most interesting track featuring clever, acerbic, ironic lyrics: "Good evening friends," he sings, "no one offered you resistance on that path of least resistance that you chose."

Far from a classic, Candy Store Kid does show potential and has some very good moments, including very well arranged and performed back-up vocals. The production is fairly dry throughout, lessening the impact of the playing, which is good but not overly memorable. Siegal's vocals mostly fall into the category of guy-trying-to-sing-with-gritty-soul, and "Green Power" sounds perfectly suited for early Joe Cocker – but the power of a Cocker vocal is never realized.

-Bert Saraco

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