Don Johnson - Donald Ray
(MarVista Music) MV3.79513-410322

Don Johnson's first MarVista CD (reviewed in LB 122) was a promising effort built around Johnson's originals in the soul/blues vein. This time out , the transplanted Texan from Calgary shifts gears. The only two orignals are a Jimmy Reed-style Gone So Long and the jazzy Names, both of which sport witty lyrics and crisp Bill Johnson guitar; the balance of the set consists of a diverse batch of covers that include Stagger Lee, Tobacco Road, Georgia On My Mind, and Al Green's Sweet Sixteen in addition to selections from Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins and Maurice John Vaughn. Donald Ray is a worthy set, but Johnson's own songs are so good that you're left wishing there had been more of them.

Living Blues