I wish I had more critically relevant things to say about Lil' Dave Thompson, but the truth is that when it comes to the blues, I'm not much for intense discernment. Even the slapped-together, dime-a-dozen any-bar-in-town bands sound good to me. The chord progression, the slow-walking bass groove, the lyrical repetition — put it all together and I'm pretty happy. But among the modern purveyors of the genre, Thompson truly does stand out, drawing influences from each of the three Kings of blues guitar: vocals like B.B. King, the energy of Freddie King, and the guitar chops of Albert King, who grew up in Indianola, Miss., the town Thompson calls home. But while every wanna-be blues outfit is trying to rip off the Kings, Thompson's trio stands out by establishing a funkier sound before letting its frontman show off his picking skills in solos that take off and leave you wondering whether Stevie Ray Vaughan is making a guest appearance. Despite all the obvious influences on his work, Thompson's skill truly does set him apart from the rest of the pack.