Eddie Turner

Eddie Turner
The Turner Diaries

Northern Blues Music NBM0036

By Karen Nugent
October 2006

This is Eddie “Devilboy” Turner’s second record, and while heavy on the psychedelic rock, it is well worth it.

Nominated this year for a Blues Music Award for best new artist debut, Turner, who joined Otis Taylor in 1995 to help form Taylor’s band, is a scorcher on guitar. Steven Stills says it best when he makes the comparison to Jimi Hendrix: “A monster guitar player – reminds me of my good friend, Jimi.”

Born in Cuba and raised in Chicago – and from a musical family – Turner aptly combines Afro-Cuban rhythms with blues, rock and jazz for a truly unique and quite diverse collection of songs. He has been accurately described by a Guitar Player magazine reviewer as the breakout blues guitarist of the year.

My favorite tune on the disc is the opener, “Dangerous,” which has a driving beat, wailing guitar, and strong pulsating vocals. Other bluesy numbers showing off Turner’s talent with slide guitar are “Shake 4 Me,” a terrific amplification of a classic Howlin’ Wolf line, and “I’m a Man, I’m a Man,” a Delta blues-type song with a slower slide that is just as moanin.’

A blues instrumental called “Pomade” is more restrained, but has insane guitar licks, and “Confessions,” a moody, slow, instrumental, is absolutely mesmerizing

On the classic blues shuffle, “I’m Tore Down” which is the last tune on the 12-cut disc (and the only one not written by Turner) he is joined by Astrid Kelly on vocals. She and another female vocalist, Anna Givens, are also featured on “Jody” a pop-like ode to a failed romance, and on the title track, “The Turner Diaries,” a brooding ballad with fantastic lyrics that has the refrain “Believe us, Deceive us,” echoing throughout.

There are some tunes, maybe half of the disc, which could be called rock - or perhaps blues rock - akin to Cream, or Fleetwood Mac (in the 1960s). Hendrix’s influence is particularly heard on the third cut, “Cost of Freedom.” Some comparison could also be made to Muddy Water’s psychedelic foray on his Electric Mud album from that period.

A nod to jazz is clear in the cut, “New Day.”

Also accompanying Turner on the record are Mark Clarke and Daniel Barnett on drums and percussion; Kenny Passarelli and James Trujillo on bass, and David Givens on guitar and vocals. Passarelli, who produced the disc, sings backup as well. He also produced two Otis Taylor records, White African and Respect the Dead.

<- back to Features