Out of the Blue

There are a couple of interesting local coincidences that come with this album, both of them traceable to recent bang-up shows at the Sierra Nevada Big Room. Randy Scott, a fast-emerging guitar wizard, is joined here on two tracks by Albert Lee, an elder in the guitarist tribe who set the woods on fire at a sold-out Big Room show last year. Lee says Scott is “one of the best blues guitarists I’ve heard come along in a long time.” High praise from a high priest. Listening to Scott’s album made a believer out of me, too. Also lending support here is keyboardist Jeff Babko, who was at the Big Room as part of guitarist Larry Carlton’s ensemble when Carlton cast a magic spell over a rapt audience of guitar worshippers earlier this month. Musicians of this caliber don’t often turn up on debut albums unless the musician making his debut is pretty damned impressive. And Scott—who won Guitar Center’s King of the Blues competition in 2010—is impressive indeed, giving ample assurance that the future of blues guitar is in good hands. The title track is a showcase of Scott’s guitar chops, and the album features a range of styles from blues to ballads to jazz, to good ol’ rock ’n’ roll. Scott definitely has the goods.