Music » Critics' Picks

Alvin Youngblood Hart

7 p.m. Saturday, January 21. BB's Jazz Blues and Soups, 700 South Broadway.

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With his 1996 debut , Big Mama's Door, Alvin Youngblood Hart came on like a hungry, young successor to his mentor Taj Mahal. A fast-picking bluesman and articulate historian, he has always taken authenticity seriously, some might say obsessively. Still, AYH always deconstructs the country blues in a way that would make Joseph Spence — if not Don Van Vliet recognize a kindred spirit. Lately he's seemed to want a slice of the jam-band pie — a recent cover of Led Zep's "Heartbreaker" is pure blooze-rock pandering — but a champion player like Hart more than deserves the widest audience possible.

What To Expect: Hart may be a prodigious bandleader, but his métier remains the one-man, one-guitar blues. But backed by an electric band, there's no style he can't screw, renew or sear into a packed juke joint — and his appearance at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups will do just that.

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