Whiteley serves up lunch counter of styles

The Star Phoenix, Bill Robertson

Guitarist extraordinary Ken Whiteley is back with another treasure trove of songs, sounds and styles.

On One World Dance he takes us through the gentle R & B sway of one statement of his faith, Everybody Has the Blues — with lead guitar help from Amos Garrett — the high-octane, rockin’ boogie of Get At, and the sweet ballad of life’s possibilities Going To Be. Then he throws in some humorous ragtimey feel with Lunch Counter Encounter and its lively acoustic guitar solo, some Dobro guitar on the old country blues number Death Letter Blues, and some spirited gospel with Dobro accompaniment and some great bass vocals from Pat Patrick on Two Wings.

Yes, it’s a lunch counter of musical styles and possibilities here, including some cha cha, complete with Latin percussion and steel drums on the title track. There is some slow blues feeling for a song about the end of a relationship and the coming on of Whiteley’s least favourite month, November. Whiteley’s justly renowned for his fine guitar playing but his voice, which can sound a little strained, as on Trying To Find My Way, really glows through that ballad Going To Be and resonates a sad earnestness in Still Can’t Believe You’re Gone. This is a lovely album.