Picks and Pans Review: Pat Mclaughlin
McLaughlin, 37, is a Waterloo, Iowa, product who sings in a style that suggests country blues and blues rock. He sounds like John Fogerty, or maybe a little in intonation like Paul Simon. He comes across best on such ballads as Moment of Weakness, except for the rollicking Lynda and maybe his cover of Allen Toussaint's Louisiana-flavored Wrong Number (which stands up nicely to the Nevilles' version of the tune). Then again, McLaughlin's Is That My Heart Breakin' shows some wit, allowing him to sing, "Is that my heart breakin'/ Or did somebody drop a bowling ball?" Anyway, whatever we have here, it's terrific, partly because McLaughlin and producer Mitchell Froom (Los Lobos, Del Fuegos) invited along such studio stand-bys as drummer Jim Keltner and harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo. McLaughlin meanwhile rips into the material (all his own except the Toussaint tune and Lynda, co-written with Bill LaBounty). He never, perhaps, rends his heart as movingly as Ray Charles or sings his throat out as devastatingly as Joe Cocker, but he is heading somewhere in the general direction of territory heretofore staked out by those two gentlemen. (Capitol)
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