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Nicholas Tremulis Band

Nicholas Tremulis has gone through a lot of musical permutations since his debut album for Island Records in 1985. But while Tremulis has long since traded the horn-oriented funk of yore for a more roots-oriented, guitar-centric sound, one thing hasn't changed: the man knows how to craft a song. "In Search of Woodfoot" is Tremulis' first album since "Bloody Show" three years ago, and the 14 songs here show he's hardly been idle. Aided by many of the core musicians who have been with him since the beginning (plus the Band's Rick Danko in a cameo), he ranges from Dylan-esque folk and Gram Parsons-style country to flat-out, Stones-y rockers effortlessly. If anything, Tremulis' vocals have gotten stronger and more adaptable with time (witness the inspired solo version of the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul"), and his lyrics are equally impressive. "Well I dug a hole on the shores of my soul and waited patiently for the tide," he sings on "Fire of Love Pt. 2," one of a number of raucous rockers fueled by Rick Barnes' razor-edged slide guitar. Equally radio-friendly are "Sacrifice" and "Rising Sun," which features a killer groove worthy of vintage Little Feat. Nicholas Tremulis may not be the latest, trendiest name on the Chicago music scene, but "In Search of Woodfoot" shows he still has plenty of great music in him.

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