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Murali Coryell / Press

"Sugar Lips", the latest effort from blues veteran Murali Coryell, is one sweet triptych across the musical map. The title track exemplifies all that defines classic blues: saucy lyrics, masterful guitar licks, cool macho vocals and one helluva good-time party. Self-congratulatory "Blame It On Me" adds horns and raucous keyboards to the mix, as singer/guitarist/songwriter Coryell¹s wired strings share lead with his chops; while "What You Gonna Do?" about a woman gone astray, slows the tempo to a sensual crawl. But perhaps the most affecting track is "Mother¹s Day," a crawling heartbreaker about ultimate loss: Throughout the disc, helmed by Grammy-nominated producer/songwriter Tom Hambridge, Coryell displays laudable versatility, consummate vocal and instrumental savvy (with his dad and Joe Louis Walker offering accompaniment), and arrangements that shine with a dazzling blues hue. Indeed, this "Sugar" is mighty sweet.

Cortney Harding - Billboard Discoveries