Wednesday, December 7, 2016


21st CENTURY BLUES by Van Wilks
(Texas ’51 Records)

Texas-based guitarist Van Wilks is back with his first studio album in ten years, '21st Century Blues'. This album is a stunning mix of blues and rock. Featuring twelve blistering tracks from the veteran Texas Blues-Rocker, except one track all originals.  From the opening salvo of "Strange Girl", Van Wilks leaves you in no doubt what to expect from this album, race-tuned blues of the sort people used to play when "guitar hero" was a compliment rather than a put-down. From there Van Wilks serves up a variety of moods and tracks, where he showcases his talent for playing well-structured songs and stupefying guitar solos. His playing is tasteful, dynamic, blindingly virtuosic and above all else, soulful in every sense of the word. As you can hear and feel on, "Drive By Lover", "Who's Foolin' Who", the laid back groove of, "Just Walk Away", "Golddiger", the smoking title track and "She Makes Me Crazy". The album also features amazing guest performances from Grammy-winner Christopher Cross and Austin vocal hero Malford Milligan, both of whom appear on “She Makes Me Crazy,” a song written by Cross (who also plays guitar on the track) with Milligan adding his trademark dynamic voice. Also featured  on the album is the legendary Billy F. Gibbons, who co-wrote “Drive by Lover” with Wilks, a song that made its initial appearance on an earlier ZZ Top album. The solid performance from the rest of the band keeps every track consistently fresh and interesting. Hands down a welcome return for Van Wilks and '21st Century Blues' is a genius piece of work by a genius of a guitarist. It is so difficult to describe this man and his talent. Genius with feel is about it really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

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