Michael Burks sings his sensitive tales of bad behavior like a man waking up with his best friend's wife the morning after said best friend stole his own wife away. In Burks' complex blues fables, awful things happen. But what the hell -- might as well make the best of it. When Burks sings I hope he's worth my pain, both man and guitar sound wounded, and when he croons Just let the doorknob hit you/Where the good Lord split you, it's clear that the narrator isn't the only one who's bruised. Burks picks up the bad-SOB-next-door story exactly where Robert Cray left off, and with several well-deserved W.C. Handy nominations under his belt (including Song of the Year for "I Smell Smoke"), his soulful guitar and baleful breakup tales are definitely worth a gamble.