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CD REVIEW: RICK PRICE & JACK JONES – California Dreaming

CD REVIEW: RICK PRICE & JACK JONES – California Dreaming
Sony
September 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10

It seems every band on every corner in the ‘70s and ‘80s were playing covers, whereas nowadays it’s tribute acts: with every original muso making a buck by performing note-perfect tributes to a famous album or an act’s greatest hits. Hell – even many bands go out in tribute of their own classic albums.

Taking that one step further is Aussie blues mainstay Rick Price and former Southern Sons/John Farnham/Electric Mary rocker Jack Jones (aka Irwin Thomas), who have crafted this lush and loving tribute to the US West Coast summery sounds of the Summer Of Love and early ‘70s.

And lush it is, full of semi-acoustic sonic hugs and harmonies as light and airy as a perfect soufflé.

The challenge with any such project is to give us a reason to listen to these versions over the stone cold classic originals which we hold so dear. Price & Jones have managed that by imbuing the project with not only a sublime production and sonic values that sound completely now, but also making the arrangements interesting as well as reverential.

Blue Bayou’s mellow, wistful folk pop is sublime; Monday Monday’s chorus of backing vocalists borders on the angelic; Light My Fire combines elements of The Doors boomingly arch original with a pop go-go aesthetic and a funky wah wah guitar to great effect; Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now is heavy on the atmosphere; and Desperado is transformed into a heartfelt piano ballad more Elton John than The Eagles.

Any raunch and grit is reserved for the lyrics, many of which challenge the social mores of that politically charged time, and it’s testament both to the timeless nature of these American classics, and to the love and talent Price & Jones have invested here, that this album could be the perfect soundtrack to this year’s Australian summer barbecues.

 

CD REVIEW: RICK PRICE & JACK JONES – California Dreaming

Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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