Blackie and the Rodeo Kings

South (File Under: Music)

The band born from appreciation for Willie P. Bennett 18 years ago not only endures but may be just hitting its stride. Colin Linden, Stephen Fearing and Tom Wilson each has his strengths. Now, when it comes to playing, composing and singing, they become a unit more clearly than ever on this mostly acoustic set. Drummer Gary Craig shows why he’s in demand, his relaxed, steady beat triggering a manic dance reflex on “Summertime’s Over” and “Fleur de Lys.” “South” is one song, there’s also a “North” and an obligatory tune by the late Bennett, “Driftin’ Snow,” where voices join like Canadian Sons of the Pioneers. It will warm up the blood in any living thing.

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