Picks and Pans Review: Thicker Than Water

updated 01/25/1999 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/25/1999 AT 01:00 AM EST

Mike Henderson & The Bluebloods
(Dead Reckoning)

The best part of this country blues band is its piano player, the Nashville veteran, boogie-woogie-savvy John Jarvis. His richly layered, hard-driving solos enliven such otherwise routine blues as "I Need Me A Car" and "All My Money's Gone." The same can't be said of leader-guitarist-singer Henderson, whose lead vocals evoke the white-guy-trying-to-sound-soulful desperation of Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in their Blues Brothers mode. Five of the 12 songs here are originals, but the best tracks are by the late bluesmen Sonny Boy Williamson ("Mister Downchild") and Howlin' Wolf ("My Country Sugar Mama"). Henderson and the three members of his band can use all the extra authenticity they can find and are at their best when borrowing such earthy, heartfelt material.

Bottom Line: Anemic blues

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