Electric Blues
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Kris Wiley
Breaking The Rules

JSP 1999
Review Published July 1, 1999
Artist Spotlite on Kris Wiley
Kris Wiley Band at MP3.com

Track Listing
  1. Countdown To Heartache
  2. Faith In The Wrong People
  3. Here We Go
  4. Ain't Nobody's Business
  5. Two Long Legs
  6. Working Late
  7. Bad Situation
  8. Can't Stand Losing Me
  9. Iceman - One For Albert
  10. Two Timin' Man
EB Rating - 4.0

    Southern California based Kris Wiley has been working the local circuit for the past seven years. I'm sure in that time she must have won a sizable following of local fans. She is an accomplished guitarist and soulful yet powerful singer. She cites many of the classic & modern blues masters as her inspiration, but her predominantly smooth, soulful style on Breaking The Rules often reminds me of somewhat R&B oriented Robert Cray. At other times, she plays with a more bluezy and somewhat more agressive, but still soulful style reminicent of Ronnie Earl. This is not only true of the guitar work, but in the song arrangements and feel of the band as well. At various times the band includes organ, piano and horns.
    The CD gets off to a slow start, with the first three cuts all being soft variations of soul/R&B. I wasn't too taken with this section of the CD. Things pick up some with Ain't Nobody's Business, a somewhat toned down Chuck Berry style rock n' roll tune. The knob gets turned up another notch with the spunky instrumental Two Long Leg.
    The strong soulful feel carries over into Working Late, the one slow blues song, and Bad Situation. Can't Stand Losing Me is another upbeat rock song. Iceman - One For Albert is an instrumental tribute to Albert Collins, and Kris does Albert's style fair justice. The final song, Two Timin' Man, is a bouncy shuffle. Of the ten songs on the CD, eight were written by Wiley.
    Breaking The Rules doesn't fall into either of my two favorite categories. It's not a down and dirty blues album. Nor is it rock-blues, laced with pyro-technics lead guitar. It is blues, but with a decidedly smoother, R&B flavor. However, Kris Wiley is a stong vocalist and a nifty guitar player, and plays some tasty licks, especially on the intsrumentals. Overall, the CD is consistent and well done, and the backing musicians are excellent. For those that don't mind a bit of smooth soul/R&B with thier blues guitar, this CD is definitely worth a listen.

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