by Rick J Bowen | August 23, 2011

Upon first hearing guitar man Chris Bergson and his gravely southern drawl, which is a combination of Levon Helm and Gregg Allman, you can hardly believe this guy is from New York City. His sixth album the self produced Imitate the Sun, displays an artist dedicated to bringing blues and classic R&B into the future while honoring the past. The collection of six originals and four covers begins with the lazy shuffle "Goin' Home," which sounds like a long lost tune from "Songs from Big Pink" and appropriately ends with a thoughtful reading of "Standing in the Doorway," from Bob Dylan, who was backed by The Band, for many years. On the eight tracks in between Bergson is joined by his stellar band in doing as the title tracks says, "I'm gonna please myself, and shine." The groovin' rhythm section deftly moves from soul of "Mr. Jackson," to Delta blues of "Down in the Bottom," to the rolling barrelhouse of "Good old Wagon," setting up the tasty solos from Bergson and Jay Collins on fiery tenor sax. Keyboardist Bruce Katz is the perfect right hand man to Bergson throughout the album, providing the glue that holds it all together. Imitate the Sun, is a fine addition to an admirable body of work from a veteran band.