Bernard Allison

Let It Go

(Ruf Records)

Allison’s latest release arrives amidst extensive plans to tour. He’s never far from a stage and like dad Luther this seems to be his natural habitat, a chance to sing, play and connect with established fans and the uninitiated. Bernard’s companions on this musical voyage are John T McGhee on rhythm guitar, George Moye on bass, Mario Dawson on drums, Jose James on sax. Production by the great Jim Gaines.

Cruisin’ For A Bluesin’ opens proceedings with emphatic choppy guitar and that distinctive voice, a definite Junior Wells feel here, with its Good Morning tempo. Next music we have Same Ole Feeling has a terrific light funk and wah-marinated ambience, great soulful vocal. a real highlight. Backdoor Man is not the Wolf classic, but an original and strident with it. That talkbox guitar growls away. Let It Go has tempo tricks that give the song a heady feel, Bernard tells of his doubts over a dark backdrop with dynamic drums parts and edgy bass. Surely a live favourite of the future, topped off by moody guitar. Night Train is not the James Brown tune but skips along with weaving guitars and a hint of Hendrix in the springheeled swagger. Kiddio is the Brook Benton number given a jazzy, finger-clicking setting that really works, Allison employing a softer voice. One for the Georgie Fame fans, I venture. Leave Your Ego hits hard with deep guitar riffing, taking its time to make its point. Very good song, echoes of Richie Havens (five years gone and a big loss).

Blues Party goes all Elmore on us, rocking along in style. Hey Lady is lightfooted swamp blues, another fine vocal and maybe the best on this collection. Look Out Mabel is nimble and has Allison adding a bit of B3, sounds like a dance hit. You’re Gonna Need Me reeks of Luther, a steaming blues lyric and easy-going pace. Castle is a pretty acoustic effort, reflective and a good closer for this guitar-soaked and soulful set.

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to RUF Records)

Bernard Allison's new studio album 'Let It Go' is out now on RUF Records.

In addition, Bernard Allsion will be touring the UK and Europe in 2018 with Mike Zito and Vanja Sky as part of 'The Blues Caravan' 2018 Tour.

For tour dates and more information visit his official website here:

Luther Allison