By Cormac Rea
March, 2009

****1/2 stars


Kelly Joe Phelps has been touring the world for the last 15 years and this is his eighth album; you could say he's been around the block. It shows. Western Bell is 11 tracks of instrumental guitar that will make your jaw drop off. Phelps dusts off his slide, works out of tune to tremendous effect, and knocks out some hugely relevant sonic string investigations; if any band could boast a guitarist this good, this capable of blowing apart a room unplugged, all of the other members would need to quit. You will not hear of many great solo guitar albums; make Western Bell your first.