's idiosyncratic vocal style has always been heavily influenced by the blues, just as much as it has been by country, pop, and folk, but he'd never recorded a straight blues album until 2000's Milk Cow Blues
. Any longtime Nelson
fan will undoubtedly be quietly thrilled with the idea of a straight blues album, and the very first notes make it seem like the record will deliver on its promise. Then Francine Reed
starts singing. Yes, Milk Cow Blues
is designed as a star-studded duets album, which is apparently the only way major labels think a new album from a veteran superstar will attract press attention and fan curiosity. Sometimes, the concept works, at least commercially, as proved by the stunning success of Santana
. Here, the idea doesn't work quite as well, with the exception of the appearance of Dr. John
. Nelson is in great voice here, and his three solo tracks are outstanding.