Eddie Turner’s Change in Me is soul-packed vocals joined to funky, low-key blues, with the funk presenting not as treble-y, wrist-breaking guitar, but rather as sexy, even mysterious grooves that take the listener on a journey, but always returns them to where they started.
Singer/guitarist Turner came up through the Colorado-based Zephyr, the hard rock band founded by guitarist Tommy Bolin. Turner played on the band’s final album, with the group folding after the death of singer Candy Givens. He eventually wound up in Otis Taylor’s band (Taylor had also played bass for Zephyr), going solo in 2004, with Change in Me his fourth studio album.
Turner is probably best known for his guitar work, and while there’s plenty of pretty licks here, the guitar is present and recognizable on every track, but doesn’t dominate. Turner uses interesting sounds and beats that require taste and chops, but he’s rarely soloing for the sake of showing off his dexterity. So on the title track, Turner deploys an easy rhythm with wah guitar providing color, without making you feel you accidentally clicked on a 1970s action film. Turner also duets with Jessie Lee Thetford, his deep voice mingling with her lighter one, creating a lovely, soulful track that’s elevated by the guitar work, but not defined by it.
Turner’s a strong songwriter, but he also chooses some interesting covers. “My Friend” is a lesser-known Jimi Hendrix track, which Turner puts through a jazz filter, slowing up the tempo, so Hendrix’s surreal lyrics (“I just got out of a Scandinavian jail / And I’m on my way straight home to you”) pop. And while the guitar work tips its hat to Hendrix, it’s not a direct lift. Turner’s voice, singing and musical, comes through.
You can say the same thing for his cover of the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for the Man,” here mixed together with Taj Mahal’s “She Caught the Katy.” The Velvet Underground original captures the nervous energy of waiting for your drugs to arrive, recreating the energy of an extended fidget session. Turner’s version is slow and trippy, almost like what one expects to happen after the man arrives with his goods.
Turner closes the album with the blues classic, “Hoochie Koochie Man,” the album’s most rocking moment. Turner keeps the vocals cool, as he does throughout the album, never giving into passion, but instead channeling the energy into intensity. It’s the perfect way to end an album that’s lots of fun, but isn’t particularly heavy. Turner understands the hottest tracks are often the ones that burn the slowest.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Change in Me
– I’m Waiting For The Man/She Caught The Katy
– Standing On The Front Line
– Hoochie Koochie Man
The Big Hit
– Hoochie Koochie Man