As the title and cover art suggests, Triple Fret
is a player's album. Although Bernard Allison
gets star billing (and does all the vocals), this is a trio record, with fellow electric blues guitarists Larry McCray
and Carl Weathersby
contributing as much guitar firepower as Allison
. Even better, second-generation Hammond organ legend Lucky Peterson
guests, adding some welcome musical variety to the otherwise fret-heavy selection and getting his own showcase, the smoking seven-minute instrumental workout "Where's Lucky?" That leaves the songwriting as the only weak spot, but unfortunately, it's pretty seriously weak. Most of the songs on Triple Fret
are hackneyed Chicago blues riffs with self-referential lyrics about how hard it is to be a bluesman. Tune out the lyrics and the undistinguished chord changes and the sheer enjoyment of the trio's playing comes through. For some, however, that might not be quite enough.