Ken Tucker is a well-seasoned blues rocker in the tradition of the Allman Brothers, Joe Walsh, Georgia Satellites, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lynyrd Skinner.
"Looking For A Brighter Day" is the follow-up to Tucker’s debut "Back Porch Pilgrims", and finds the burly Tucker joined by Josh Hammond on harmonica. Ken’s specialty is hard rockin’ blues of the "take-no-prisoners" variety. This is Southern-fried, rock ‘em sock ‘em blues that’s finger-licking good. Like steaming racks of meaty BBQ at a summer music festival!
Indiana-based, Ken used to let his guitar do all the talking, but friends convinced him his "hard-as-nails" vocals would bump up the excitement. They perfectly complement his fiery guitar licks. The Ken Tucker band has made tremendous headway recently, like winning Best Emerging Artist for its stage and recording prowess at the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival. I should have been there!
Thirteen smokin’ tracks on "Looking For A Brighter Day" raise the energy level enough to increase room temperature by about 15 degrees. Tucker’s assertive guitar is the key that unlocks the door-throughout. The title track goes beyond another hook-laden piece of power pop thanks to Tucker’s highly distinctive guitar riffs.
"The Sun is Always Shinin" is a slice of party-time blues with some wonderful interplay between Tucker’s axe and Hammond’s harp. "Walkin’ Cane is a tradition-laced shuffler that perfectly sets the table for "Tin Cup Blues", an unabashed grinder with lots of distorted torrid guitar and emotionally-charged vocals----plus a very touching piano break from Larry DeVincent. And it has an unmistakable "Jimi Hendrix" vibe! "Guitar Man" is a case study in pure Southern rock.
Tucker does a couple songs with some religious overtones where restraint is the order of the day, facilitating the seriousness of the message as with "Lord You’re All I Need" and "The King Is Comin’. "Why Do You Hurt Me"’ is a rockin’ anthem number that reminded me of Bruce Springsteen: more evidence of Tucker’s seamless versatility. "Cold Rain Coming" is more rock-solid Blues, and may just be my favorite cut---but that could change.
For those who crave honest, unadorned Blues that rocks out and can excite a crowd by packing an unforgettable wallop, here’s "two-thumbs-up" to Ken Tucker’s "Looking For Another Day".