Blues In A Bucket

Forrest McDonald Band

World Talent Records, 2019

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Veteran songwriter and guitarist deluxe Forrest McDonald will release his 15th album early next month. He turns seventy during 2020, and while this is retirement territory for many people, McDonald shows no sign of slowing down; my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Bucket Of Blues is one of the strongest albums of his career.

McDonald has always been an excellent songwriter, and on his newest release, he wrote or co-wrote all 11 tracks. The songs range from thoughtful to explosive, which are helped by a horn section. Except for two songs where he assumes the lead, he turns over the vocal duties to Andrew Black and special guest Becky Wright.

“Blues In The Basement” is a slow blues tune powered by McDonald’s guitar and Black’s vocal. “Blue Morning Sun” is a poignant piece lamenting the loss of his brother to cancer.

“Boogie Me Till I Drop” is the album opener and a good party song that presents another part of McDonald’s musical persona. Becky Wright’s lead vocal on “Powerhouse” brings a different perspective and textures to the music here. The brass section brings extra energy to “Windy City Blues,” “Go To The Light,” and “Going Back To Memphis.”

Throughout the album, McDonald demonstrates his mastery of the guitar that he has developed over a near half-century career. He has the ability to dominate a song when needed, but also knows when to fade into the background and let others carry the load.

Blues In A Bucket travels in a number of directions but is ultimately tied together by incisive lyrics and McDonald’s guitar licks, in addition to a polished production. Not a bad at way to start your 70th year.

Rating: B

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