Montreal-based blues-rocker Cliff Stevens has recently released his fifth studio album Better Days. Loaded with eleven brand-new originals, this record is a genuine dose of heart-tugging blues, reminiscent of the album-oriented music popular in the Seventies. The music ranges from old-school delta blues to that inspired by the likes of Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It surely makes for a hearty listen. With Stevens on guitar and vocals, Sam Harrison appears on drums, Serge Dionne on bass, Eric Suave on organ/piano, Pat Loiselle on harmonica, and Kim Feeney on vocals.
Stevens rips the wrapping paper off this package in a spectacular way with Texas smoked blues guitar and a sizzling rack of rhythm as title-track “Better Days” lunges forward. It’s plumb terrific. Between Stevens’ vocals and Suave’s funktified piano, there’s a huge Dr. John vibe going on in “No Room Left” as Stevens continues to tear it up on guitar. Amid a driving beat, lush organ, and barrelhouse piano, more hot licks ensue on “Time For Me to Go”. Then, it’s low and slow for some deep blues on “I’ve Been Thinking About You”. Steven’s string-bending performance is sweet and crisp. It sounds so damn good. When he pairs slide guitar with precision picking, the best of two worlds collide, bringing the album to its end with a delectable instrumental called ‘Slim Picking”.
Between the fabulous songwriting and the flawless execution of the songs, Better Days from Cliff Stevens stands out as a one of my favorites of the Summer.
By Phillip Smith; July 23, 2022
Original source : phillycheezeblues.blogspot.com