There's nothing faded about Faded But Not Gone, the new (seventh) album from veteran Big Dave McLean. This is virile blues, driven by the strong and suitably gruff vocals of McLean. He plays National steel, acoustic and harmonica, and is supported by some of the best in the biz - Steve Dawson, Kevin McKendree, and the Blackie and the Rodeo Kings rhythm section of Gary Craig and John Dymond (Colins Linden and James guest on a track apiece). Dawson produces with his customary clarity, and this is the first album recorded at his new Nashville studio. The song selection is smart, mixing originals with tunes by Tom Waits, Ray Lamontagne and young folk star Jesse Reimer and closing out with a sparse version of Skip James classic "Devil Got My Woman". McLean has won Juno and Western Canadian Music Awards before, and look for them to give this close scrutiny.

McLean, Dawson and Jim Byrnes headline the Black Hen Traveling Roadshow tour of western Canada, Nov. 12-22. Check here for details.