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Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets

With Sam Myers. Friday, July 25, at Wilbert's.

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If, as Delbert McClinton claims, Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets are the best blues band around, their mastery of multiple styles is a big reason why. Skilled in a sparing, don't-play-notes-that-don't-matter approach, 48-year-old Funderburgh sounds equally at home in a classic Delta, Chicago, or Lone Star mode.

The other not-so-secret weapon in the Rockets' arsenal is 67-year-old singer and harmonica player Sam Myers, who brings authentic Mississippi and Windy City credentials. A member of Elmore James's band during the mid-'50s, he appeared on a number of the slide-guitar master's records of that period. Robert Cray and Eric Clapton have covered his composition "Sleeping in the Ground." Spending the next three decades leading groups on the chitlin' circuit, Myers hooked up with Funderburgh in 1986. His booming vocals and vintage harp style give the Rockets an authority most present-day blues outfits can only dream about.

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