The term "unplugged" was fashionable a few years back thanks to a series on MTV, that resulted in a number of career-defining album releases.

Whanganui-born, now based in Wellington, Darren Watson has adopted this approach for his sixth solo album after a barnstorming career with Chicago Smokeshop.

The acoustic approach really delivers on Too Many Millionaires by creating an inspired opportunity for subtle inter-plays, notably between Watson's guitar and Terry Casey's brilliance on the harmonica.

Watson varies his approach from a swagger to Robert-Johnsonesque slide.


Lyrically the record is strong, with Watson displaying a philosophical bent on Hallelujah (Rich Man's War) and Past Tense, while name-checking blues greats Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Howlin' Wolf on That Guy Could Sing.

Watson penned all the tracks except for Bill Lake's Too Many Millionaires.

There are no weak songs and my own favourite is Pilgrim with its note-perfect slide playing. Watson apparently rates this as his best album and who am I to disagree.

I suggest you shell out now and also catch him live when he comes your way this month.

He will perform at the Lucky Bar in Whanganui's Wilson Street on Friday, May 4 _ tickets $20, bookable at Eventfinda.