If you've got the chops to share six-string duties with guitar guru, Jeff Healey, you must be doing something right. Toronto axe-slinger, Grant Lyle is a Canadian blues icon. Along with lending his talents to some amazing artists, he has released a string of soulful solo records. His latest record, simply titled Nu is an earnest journey through good times and hardships, mistakes and atonement. Telling the story as much, if not more with his guitar than his voice, Nu is a solid heartfelt album from a seasoned veteran.

'So Glad You're Here' welcomes you to the evening with an easy going instrumental. Over Lyle's creamy guitar line are flickering echoes like crickets fluttering around on a warm country night. 'Cannonball' features Lyle's leathery voice on this jaunty mid-tempo number. He speaks with two voices, skillfully coaxing his wah pedal to sing a duet with him. It hums and haws, sings and squawks in response to Lyle's narrative. 'Love Rain Down' picks up where the late Stevie Ray Vaughan left off with clean funk chords underscoring his gravelly bellow.

The acoustic guitar comes out for 'On the Wire' where rockin' piano, horn section hits, and a down-home slide melody. This rocker's gospel about finding redemption stands out as a touchstone track. Late album track 'Power Trip' is irresistibly catchy with it's bouncing bass shuffle and insistent piano.

Start to finish, Nu expertly delivers classic blues rock. Crystal clear production and tightly crafted tunes. Most of the songs could be singles from either their toe-tapping groove or go-for-the-gut vocals.
For those who have a deep appreciation of the genre, Grant Lyle's well-rounded latest effort will definitely impress.