Kris Barras Band – Kris Barras Band

Blues guitar lessons and Bon Jovi vocals from south Devon

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Seasoned teacher, session artist, touring pro, lecturer, all-round knower of the guitar: Kris Barras can definitely play. And sing, as he proves on this self-penned record. With cool, 90s-style Bon Jovi raspiness – and a slick stock of chops to suit all moods – Barras makes a passionate stamp on his own terms.

The only trouble is, you can tell he’s spent more time teaching than writing. Much of the album plays like an instructional CD – a good one, but still, not the exercise in strong songwriting you’d hope for. I Don’t Want The Blues sounds like a rudimentary backing track you’d find on a good YouTube channel, while Rocky Road is textbook scale-traversing, modern blues box-ticking material (‘One thing I know, love is a rocky road,’ he croons, in blooze-by-numbers style).

There are quality ingredients here: just pay more attention to the tunes next time.