Can You Live Without [Audio CD] FORSYTH GUY

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Variety is the spice of Can You Live Without, the third album from Austin-based guitarist Guy Forsyth. This collection of 12 songs mixes some tasty straightahead blues with ventures into country-flavored ballads and even the swing-inflected "Tattle Tale," making for moments that land somewhere between peculiar and sublime. Here, the bluesiest stuff is the best: the opening track, "Calico Girl," immediately conjures images of a city street at night in its twangy guitar and bent notes, while "If I Was Sick" has some great slide work and the upbeat "Faith" is a rollicking joyride. Then there's "New Monkey King," which from a low-key beginning somehow slides all the way to alternative rock and back, and the sensual "I Like It When She's Easy." There are some weak moments here; Forsyth isn't as good at ballads as he is at just playing the blues, and the closing track, "True Friends," is an acquired taste. Still, there's enough here to bear listening, and to leave the impression that Forsyth is a musician to watch. --Genevieve Williams