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Blues - Released October 4, 2008 | Mercury Studios

Another year, another Gary Moore blues-rock album nearly interchangeable with the last. That's no problem for fans or even newcomers, because despite the surface similarities between releases, Moore never seems to be going through the motions for the sake of further bulking up his already substantial catalog. His tough guitar lines remain biting yet classy, and his underappreciated voice is strong and convincing on originals and covers that nail all of the blues-rock bases without sounding rote. While there are no surprises here, Bad for You Baby is far from a disappointment. Moore continues a string of rugged, post-hard rock, power blues that he has carved his niche in since 1990's Still Got the Blues. He applies his throaty vocals and feral guitar to a pair of Muddy Waters tunes to impressive effect. No one will mistake his versions of Waters' "Walking Through the Park" or "Someday Baby" for the classic Chess era nuggets they are. Yet Moore's rocked up attack hits the mark for being relatively faithful to their melodies even as he wields his power blues sledgehammer. Moore boogies through J.B. Lenoir's "Mojo Boogie" like he invented the style, and even if his husky vocals will never be mistaken for Lenoir's reedy, high pitched singing, he tears into the tune with enough energy to shake up anything in the Johnny Winter songbook. Guitar shredders will thrill to the hot fret acrobatics of the double-time "Down the Line," and those who thought Led Zeppelin's first album was their finest hour should chow down on the hard rocking Jimmy Page-isms of "Umbrella Man." Moore writes one for the ladies on the sweet ballad "Holding On," which won't win any awards for lyrical complexity but boasts a lovely melody and Otis Taylor's daughter, Cassie, on backing vocals. Cassie returns with her dad (plucking nearly inaudible banjo) for the swamped up "Preacher Man Blues" that features some surprisingly effective harp from Moore, the only time he plays it on this disc. Al Kooper's slow, yearning "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" from the New Yorker's Blood, Sweat & Tears stint is given an extended, nearly 11-minute treatment that's as compelling as BS&T's. Those hoping for Moore to expand his horizons will need to wait a little longer, but for existing followers and especially those new to his gutsy approach, Bad for You Baby more than fills the bill. © Hal Horowitz /TiVo