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Marshall Pierce
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Kitty Dunn

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Mojo's workin'

So Tom Petty says he really let guitar player Mike Campbell show his stuff on the new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album, "Mojo." He wasn't kidding. To use descriptions my guitar-playing boyfriend Mike uses for tasty playing...he's got the chops, and tone to the bone. That's evident throughout the album. On the first single "I Should Have Known It," it sounds like it might be Jimmy Page throwing in some of his classic licks. Other songs harken back to old school Chicago blues, like the song "U.S. 41" which seems decidedly lo-fi, and in a good way. Another bluesy number, "Candy" has lyrics that almost poke fun at the genre..."I sure like that candy, I don't go for them turnip greens," sings Petty, over Campbell's smooth blues riffs that almost make you forget the silly lyrics. "First Flash of Freedom" is a meandering song with a message you might expect from Crosby Stills Nash and Young, with subdued vocals and moody, atmospheric guitar that reminds me of early work from the Allman Brothers Band. There's a bit of Mark Knopfler in "The Running Man's Bible," some excellent pedal steel in "No Reason To Cry," and an a reggae saunter in "Don't Pull Me Over." This song contains the excellent lyric "When the red light, turns to blue light, makes me feel afraid," and a guitar solo filled with some wailing wah pedal that makes you feel Petty's angst at getting a traffic ticket. From hard rockers to country tinged ballads, the album has a little bit of everything. It was recorded "live" with minimal overdubs, and the result is an album that Tom Petty fans should embrace...and guitar players will try to emulate. "Mojo" went on sale Tuesday, June 15, on CD, blu-ray audio DVD, and 2 album set on 180 gram vinyl.

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06/11/2010 6:53AM
Mojo's workin'
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