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Ben PooleBen Poole
Album: Time Has Come
Label: Manhaton
Tracks: 10

The difficulty for any talented blues musician trying to make his way in the world today is how to stand out from the crowd.

There are plenty of fretboard shredders out there who try to impress with their single string gymnastics.

Ben Poole is not one of those. Now this boy can play a mean blues guitar but he offers so much more.

For a young man who has already played the Albert Hall, finding his right niche was always going to be tricky.

With Time Has Come, Ben has teamed up with King King's drummer Wayne Proctor to produce this polished collection of songs.

The song-writing is more accomplished, the guitar playing - at times white hot - is assured and soulful.

This is much more than an out and out blues album. No, it offers much more subtlety amongst all the rawness. Think of Robert Cray and John Mayer and you'll get the picture.

There are plenty of guitar fireworks, however, from the opening track Lying to Me to the closing The Question Why, there's plenty to enjoy.

Particularly fine is the outro duet with Aynsley Lister on I Think I love You Too Much.

But there are more intimate songs such as Longing For A Woman and If You Want To Play With My Heart.

The sound is polished and propelled along by Kenny Proctor, with Steve Nimmo supplying backing vocals, and guest appearances by Todd Sharpeville and Henrik Freischlader on guitar.

Most songs were recorded in a one or two takes and there is an overall freshness across the whole album.

Has Ben Poole's time come? I think it has. Enjoy.

John Knighton