Electric Blues
Mark May and the Agitators
Telephone Road Houston, TX
Icehouse - 1997
 
Review Published June 1, 1998
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AMG Artist Bio/Discography/CD Reviews



Sound Clips, Discography
Track Listing
1 Mercury Blues
2 Don't Give Up
3 Sweet Spot
4 Lights Are On But
Nobody's Home

5 Joann
6 Telephone Road
7 Icehouse Special
8 Back in the Joint
9 Took Me By Surprise
10 She's a Stranger
11 I'll Be Around
12 Helena Hangover

EB Rating - 4.5

10 of the 12 songs on Telephone Road were written or co-written by guitarist and band leader, Mark May. Mark's vocals are smooth and true, his guitar work solid. At times his guitar playing reminds me of Albert Collins, other times there's no comparison at all.
Many of the CD's songs have distinctive phrasing or unique feel to them, including the first cut, Mercury Blues. This tune has been covered by many artists, but this version presents a fresh slant. The most interesting song on the CD is the title cut, Telephone Road. It starts out south of the border, then moves into central texas for the vocal chorus. It continues to skip back and forth across the border for the duration of the song.
Another song with an unusual twist is Sweet Spot. For this one Mark makes use of a talk box, a device that had some popularity in mid seventies Rock.The CD also includes one standard blues number, a nicely done cover of Albert Collins' The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home.
Sprinkled throughout the CD are contributions of three guest guitarists, Billy Wells, Alan Haynes, and Larry McCray. All these guys blend well with the music. It didn't become appearent to me there was more than one guitarist at work until the 3rd or 4th listening.
There is one R&B/soul ballad, but the majority of songs on Telephone Road are upbeat, funky, Texas shuffles that make you feel like tapping your feet. There's generous amounts of blues guitar, but not to the point of being overbearing. This CD should appeal to a wide range of blues lovers.