Son Powers doubles the dosage with more hard-drinking and deep-thinking tunes-fortified by pedigreed bluesmen Rob Piazza, Chuck Nash, Billy Bowers and Walter Mingledorff. On his third solo album Powers discourses on assorted themes including cheating death, incarceration, moroseness, class warfare, the necessity for restraining orders, higher learning (and the price thereof), moments of clarity, and self-abnegation. And as usual he did it exactly the way he wanted, complete with the Genuine High John The Conqueror Root heraldry on the back cover. ***** LUCKY gets right down to business; it's the best album yet by Mr. Powers, and he has some excellent help. Aside from handling vocals, Fender Bass, guitars and keyboards himself and writing all the songs, he's got Rob Piazza on drums and vocals, Chuck Nash on guitars and vocals, Billy Bowers on guitars and Walter Mingledorff on piano and Hammond organ. To let you know what the album is like, on the first and title cut, a tough song called "Lucky," the vocal effect is a trademark of Son's and puts the vocal front and center. The excellent Telecaster guitar solo is courtesy of Billy Bowers. "Raiford Death Row Blues" refers to the infamous Florida prison, and has a Sonny Boy Williamson "Help Me" or Booker T And The MGs "Green Onion" type groove. "Hard Luck & Trouble" is a minor key Blues ballad with a decidedly unsentimental bass line. Son complains that his woman "puts brake fluid in my beer." I personally hate when that happens. Walter Mingledorff's piano smokes, and his organ solo is also pretty vicious. "Little Man" is in 5/4 time, and is probably the most innovative cut on the album. It's also my personal favorite. Author Terry Southern identified the refrain (...little man whip a big man every time if the little man keeps trying...) as the motto of the legendary Texas Rangers. Special mention should be made of 'Mahavishnu' Chuck Nash's guitar solo on this track. "Creeping Blues" has an intro reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf, used throughout the song, and is driven by a prominent "piano" figure. "Your Little School" features a happy, upbeat New Orleans style groove, despite less than happy lyrics. Walter Mingledorff plays an excellent "Professor Longhair" style piano. "Now My Days Are Numbered" (great hook) is a minor key Blues ballad that features an interesting short solo which sounds as if a whale was hooked to a volume pedal (probably Mr. Powers). "My Baby Don't Love Me" has a bar of 3 followed by a bar of 4. Fooling with time signatures is one of Son's favorite devices. I'm guessing that he doesn't plan this stuff, but simply wants to hear it that way, and it adds a refreshing twist to the Blues. "They Get You" has a Spencer Davis "Gimme Some Lovin" type groove, and adds one more color to a nicely varied album. The collection ends with "You Left Me These Blues," a ballad with a "Bring It On Home To Me" feel. The bridge's great "summertime, wintertime, springtime and fall, you stole 'em away, you took 'em all" is repeated again in verse form. I, for one, am glad Son Powers left us these Blues. Morley Lowbead, music critic ***** I flat-out love the new Son Powers album LUCKY! Here are six secrets about the tunes I learned from Son himself. 1. In the wicked 'Raiford Death Row Blues,' Raiford is the Florida 'Big House' and 'Sparky' is the electric chair. Being a Texan myself, I can almost hear the ZZ-Top beardos playing in the background on that one! 2. Son played his ancient beat-up plywood Danelectro with the 'lipstick tube pickup' and got to the TRUTH on 'They Get You.' 3. The title song 'Lucky' was inspired by drummer/producer Rob Piazza's recent emergency room adventures. 4. Son sang the Howlin' Wolf-inspired 'Creeping Blues' in two different octaves (not at the same time-he wishes!) 5. The refrain in 'Little Man' is the motto of my home-state Texas Rangers (the cops, not the sports team). 6. Son found brilliant piano man Walter Mingledorff while looking for an accordion player for the New Orleans-style 'Your Little School.' This warms my heart-my mom was Cajun. Give LUCKY a listen-Son Powers has the Weldon McDowell seal of approval! Weldon McDowell, Jr., Kustom Kulture artist ***** The brand new offering from Son Powers - 'Lucky' - is the best yet! The ten new songs offer classic blues across the board, but with that special SP touch. For instance, the title track pulls you in right away with the gritty guitar/background vocal exchange in the intro. Then the exquisite octave-doubled lead vocal etches the meaning of life and luck right into your forehead! 'Little Man' has the same intense energy, but takes the hard blues ride out even further. Great guitar work in both! 'Your Little School' and 'You Left Me These Blues' both have a little New Orleans flavor to them. 'Little School' uses very bright upbeat music and hides the title in the middle. Meanwhile, 'You Left Me...' is an excellent blues-based 'song' reminiscent of Dr. John -- fine keyboard work on these! Another standout is 'They Get You.' The music features an interesting blend of an old Spencer Davis / Taj Mahal groove as a tonic blues pedal with a long form V to IV cadence. The lyric on this one is on slow boil - just when you think it's going to repeat, it changes just slightly. Pulls you along like a diesel locomotive. That's the lowdown on half the album, but all ten tracks are very strong, and also very individual and will hold your interest from beginning to end. John Stevens, Berklee College of Music *****.