From the title of Colin Linden's new CD, you might think he was trying his hand at country music. However, the title track is a classic blues by Sleepy John Estes. With Larry Taylor on bass and Stephen Hodges on drums, Linden adopts a largely acoustic traditional approach such as on 1930's bluesman Bo Carter's (Mississippi Sheiks) tune "Go Back Old Devil." On Blind Willie McTell's "Broke Down Engine" Linden looses a slow mournful howl with Hodges heavy on the brushes. By track 4, Linden pens an original tune, "Nowhere to Go," that's given very similar treatment with fast picking blues guitar. One of my favorite tracks on the set is "A True Friend Won't Let You Drown" that Linden writes with Gary Nicholson. Its slower tempo fits with the emotionally powerful lyric, "When I see my brother suffer, lost in the mighty storm; And I know the light is fading and the dark is raging on, I want to reach out and save him from the water pouring down." Linden mines T-Bone Burnett's CD "The True False Identity" and casts "There Would Be Hell to Pay" into a blues ballad about love & violence. Linden covers 1920s/30s slide guitar blues master Tampa Red's "You Can't Get That Stuff No More" that is an upbeat blues shuffle. Linden's own instrumental "Paramount" is a sweet acoustic guitar blues with plenty bounce per ounce. Linden makes a Charley Jordan tune, "Keep It Clean," with a fast acoustic blues guitar style, sound very similar to some of Chris Smither's early blues covers filled with contagious joy. Son House's "Dry Spell Blues" offers more slide guitar pyrotechnics. Blind Willie Johnson's "Trouble Will Soon Be Over" is a stately blues spiritual. The last track is labeled with a French Louisiana word "lagniappe" that means a small gift and is the emotional weeper "Tears Come Rolling Down," "She kissed me goodnight, but Lord I know she meant goodbye." This track is by senior bluesman Henry Townsend that's sung by Townsend on Kenny Wayne Shepard's newest release. On Canada's True North label, "Easin' Back to Tennessee" is an excellent traditional acoustic blues set by this master musician. Enjoy!