CD REVIEW: JW-JONES – High Temperature
Solid Blues Records
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10
JW-Jones opens this classy, smooth modern blues album with some licks halfway between B B King and Mick Taylor-era Stones, telling the story of ‘spending a buck to save a dime’ on a girl who ain’t worth the money in Price You Pay, written by producer Colin Linden (who – fun fact – just happens to be musical director of the Nashville TV series, and has won a shed-full of Junos and Grammys in his time).
Jones isn’t just a classy chap – he’s got form, this being his ninth studio album in his native Canada, with his last record Belmont Boulevard being nominated for a Maple Blues Award, and years worth of gigs with the likes of Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Canned Heat and many more. That form is obvious throughout – his playing is pristine, his vocals confident and clear – he’s a consummate player, and bedecked in a schmoove suit, his is blues best suited for table service in a sleazy basement jazz bar, with songs about bad women, bad luck and good times taking precedence.
How Many Hearts features a great vocal by Jaida Dreyer; the title track (a Little Walter song) is tailor made for steamy windows and good times in dark corners whilst Murder In My heart For The Judge manages to be bouncy and regretful at the same time.
About half the album is co-written by Jones, and they’re some of the best tracks on offer: the self-affirming Who I Am, the lament for a girlfriend caught up with a rogue Same Mistakes, the slow blues of Leave Me Out and Already Know.
Charlie Rich’s Midnight Blues and Leon Russell’s Out In The Woods are both delivered with style and panache and help to provide a couple of different colours to Jones’es palette.
His own Where Do You Think I Was and Lonnie Mack’s instrumental Wham close the album in fine style leaving only one question – why has it taken so long for us to hear of JW-Jones in Australia?
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