I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues, from William Shatner, yes that William Shatner. What's it like...you'll have to see for yourself. Opening with blues classic, Sweet Home Chicago, Shatner teams up with Brad Paisley who throws down some cool blues and country riffs along with Jurgen Engler on guitar, bass and banjo, Chris Lentz on keys and Adam Hamilton on drums, bass, guitar and harmonica. Shatners vocals are freeform and emotional. Otis Rush's I Can't Quit You Baby, features Kirk Fletcher who runs some real nice glues riffs of his own and manages Shatner's freeform vocals nicely. Cream's Sunshine of Your Love is up next, mostly in spoken word and I gotta say that Hamilton's work on drums is exceptional and Landreth wails on slide. Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore takes BB King's, The Thrill Is Gone to the next level and Shatner's vocals are as relaxed as I've ever heard on this track. Pat Travers screams on guitar on Screamin Jay's, I Put A Spell On You and Shatner keeps his cool with almost shouted lyrics. I think that Smokestack Lightning with Steely Dan and Doobies' Jeff Skunk Baxter is my favorite track on the release with Shatner "sing" crying where he almost sounds high. Baxter doesn't let up a bit with slashing guitar riffs. With a serious nature, As The Years Go Passing By, Shatner seems to be performing a play (Like Jack Palance singing country) and featuring Arthur Adams with sweet soloing. The track that I find best suited to Shatner on the release is In Hell I'll Be In Good Company with Albert Lee. His spoken work is animated and Lee's guitar work is spry. Actually very cool. Wrapping the release is Secrets Or Sins, with a whisper like vocal and a shuffle rhythm. I really am not sure what Shatner was trying to do with this release, but it got my attention.
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