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This debut album from Daniel "Slick" Ballinger won the 2007 Blues Music Award for Best Debut Artist. If anything, it validates the opinion of the judges at the 2004 International Blues Challenge where Daniel and his band came in second, and Daniel won the Albert King Award for Best Guitarist.

Slick's powerful shoutin' and moanin' vocals and virtuoso guitar work team with the Leon Baker's ace drumming and Blind Mississippi Morris's soulful, heartfelt harp to create a propulsive rhythm that drove me straight to a Friday-night juke joint party. Title track Mississippi Soul, along with Let's Get Down, and Juke House Blues conjure up a steamy, swampy blues party that just plain jumps with joy.

There's some seriously fine deep blues here, too, in Rosalie, Sugar Mama Blues, and Bull Cow Blues. And impressively for such a young guy, Slick has written five of the ten tunes here and co-written a sixth. Not counting a bonus track that is a very special treat, indeed (I'll just say that if you need a little redemption the night after, your ticket is right here in this track).

Slick opened twice for B.B. King in the past year and there's a good reason, as the quote from B.B. himself on the front of this cd attests: "...That young man is an entertainer...He's keeping the blues moving forward while respecting the past." Entertainer, indeed: I've seen Slick perform live and there is no one quite like him. If he comes to your town, see for yourself. You will have a big grin on your face at the end of the night, no lie.



daniel "slick" ballinger