Artist: Grady Champion
Album: One of a Kind
Label: Malaco Records
Release Date: 09/16/2016
Some guys have that knack, that rare bang to take it, shake it and make you sit up and take notice. With One of a Kind, Mississippi’s Grady Champion sure shows his right to stake a claim in the top tier of international bluesmen with a hard-edged thump of his own.
Grammy winner Champion shows himself to be a writer of subtlety and strength, while his fretwork is fiery, sure-footed and compelling. This is a guy who can play the blues without hesitation or fear, always pushing the edges, with riffs, licks and runs that rip along at real pace without ever loosing the all-important need for feeling and get-down-there groove. Sure there are hints and whispers of Buddy Guy, Hendrix and the usual blues gangsters in the mix, but Champion succeeds in crafting his own soulful sound with this, his tenth album release. This is hard, kick-ass, rocking-blues played by a real impassioned performer, who knows how to boogie and thrash in a full-on, ballsy way.
I personally was a bit disappointed with Champion’s previous offering Bootleg Whiskey, an album I had expected would, should and could have been better. With this release One of a Kind, he has ripped ahead of the myriad others plying the blues trade and produced the album that could and surely should secure his place at the top table.
– Iain Patience