Stranger in My House

Guitarist Cyril Lance, formerly of the swamp blues outfit Mel Melton & the Wicked Mojos, produced this album and wrote seven original tunes as well.

Guitarist Cyril Lance, formerly of the swamp blues outfit Mel Melton & the Wicked Mojos, produced this album and wrote seven original tunes as well. Enlisting the formidable chops of vocalist Johnny Neel, keyboard boss Matt Jenson, and regular collaborators Kelly Pace (drums) and Chris Carroll (bass), Lance has masterminded one of the best contemporary blues albums of the year. His virtuosity on guitar and lap steel is undeniable, and his songwriting makes him an instant item in bluesville. Lance's greatest coup, however, is the power and groove he's coaxed from his colleagues. Every track on this record is a lesson in the rewards of tight and tasty ensemble playing. Stellar tracks include an astonishing arrangement of Clifton Chenier's "Hot Tamale Baby," the soul-blues title track, and a wonderful cover of the Rev. Gary Davis' "Light of This World." Contact 919-304-3777.—PVV