Living Blues - 1-2/99, pp.51-2
"...The craft and skill at the heart of [Bell's] third and best Delmark outing suggest that [he] remains capable of great things..."
Personnel: Lurrie Bell (vocals, guitar); Dave Specter (guitar); Rob Waters, Ken Saydak (organ); Harlan Terson (bass); Mike Schlick (drums).
Recorded at Riverside Studio, Chicago, Illinois on December 9 & 10, 1997. Includes liner notes by Donald E. Wilcock.
Personnel: Lurrie Bell (vocals, guitar); Dave Specter (guitar); Ken Saydak (piano, organ); Rob Waters (organ).
Recording information: Riverside Studio, Chicago, IL (12/09/1997/12/10/1997).
Photographer: Susan Greenberg.
A promising guitarist whose personal troubles have perhaps kept him from realizing his full potential, Lurrie Bell rebounded from an early-'90s nadir with the intense and sometimes bizarre Mercurial Son, almost like a Chicago blues version of Skip Spence's Oar. The following 700 Blues was considerably more polished, but 1998's Kiss of Sweet Blues finds a workable middle ground between the two extremes. The songs, mostly by producer/rhythm guitarist Dave Specter and bassist Harlan Terson with Bell contributing only a pair of riff-based instrumentals, aren't as challenging as those on Mercurial Son, but they're entirely credible; "Blues and Black Coffee" and "Hiding in the Spotlight" have the hard-earned intensity to put themselves over even if they lack the earlier album's knife-edge immediacy and sometimes peculiar phrasing. Bell's solos are impeccable throughout, and his backing group, also including funky organist Rob Waters, is tight and admirably resistant to showboating. ~ Stewart Mason