Life-threatening illness sends Rea back to his roots

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Chris Rea – Dancing Down The Stony Road

Not Middlesbrough, where he was born, but the banks of the ol’ Mississippi, of which he could only have dreamed. Dancing Down The Stony Road is his blues album, and in his search for authenticity you can hear the fretboard buzz and the crickets singing in the hot Delta night (or rather Provence, where the LP was recorded). It’s pleasing, JJ Cale kind of fare, but it should never have been a double CD. Even labours of love need editing.