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Music Review: Scott McKeon – Can’t Take No More

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Bournemouth based Scott McKeon first picked up a guitar at age 4 and since then has devoted himself to honing his craft. Although well established as one of the U.K.’s most talented and promising emerging guitarists, he also shows a great deal of promise as a singer and, more importantly, as a songwriter.

McKeon has written, or co-written, all ten of the songs on his debut effort, Can’t Take No More, providing himself with a platform to show off his impressive chops as a guitar player. The 20 year old guitarist shows a technical proficiency the envy of players twice his age, but it’s the feel and the soul that he wrings from the notes of his battered ’62 Strat that bring to mind the Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, and Jimi Hendrix comparisons. There are elements of McKeon’s playing that sound like all these players. His tone is very much like Stevie Ray Vaughn’s, and his phrasing and attack are reminiscent of Albert and BB King. However, the way it all comes together is in McKeon’s songs is what really matters.

From the slow-burning Texas shuffle of "All The Same" to the blazing, gutsy blues "I Can See Through You" the underlying sound is McKeon’s. His songs vary from the riff-based, "Can’t Take No More" and "Shot Down" – heavy and high octane; to the slow, classic blues romp "Last Thing I Do" with a tender and strangely world weary vocal performance.

His guitar playing is impeccable throughout. With a killer tone, provided by a homemade pedal, and fearsome attack, McKeon switches from subtle licks to full throttle searing blues guitar with the flick of a switch, always with taste and fantastically soulful, natural sounding phrasing. With the new wave of British blues/rock in full swing, and artists such as Ian Parker and Aynsley Lister rising to prominence, Scott McKeon has arrived at precisely the right moment to make an impact, and at such a young age, I’m sure the best is still yet to come.

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