Dust to Gold
The Sound of the Swamps on a Sultry Sunday Night.
This is one of those albums that you dream of discovering quite by accident, and speak of in hushed tones to a select few.
Singer-songwriter Cris Jacobs was in a Baltimore based band called The Bridge for 10 years, releasing 5 albums and filling halls across the region; but decided enough was enough in 2011 and went solo, releasing an album in 2012 that came to the attention of Stevie Winwood who personally asked him to open a US Tour, as did Sturgill Simpson a year later.
Enough of the history lesson!
With a glut of new albums arriving with 2017 release dates this nearly got lost; but thankfully the ‘random play’ button on my I-Phone found opening track he Devil or Jesse James for the first time in weeks and I ‘had to’ delve into the album again.
Jacobs deep and warm voice takes us on an eloquent journey along the Southern back-roads in a way I’ve not really heard since Willin’ by Little Feat.
Jacobs sound is a lot quieter, introspective and claustrophobic than Little Feat or Lynard Skynard; but they are the two bands that spring to mind on songs like Hallelujah Hustler and Bone Digger, which both drip sensual sweat in every groove.
Jacob’s band are as tight as a duck’s backside throughout the album; with Delivery Man and Cold Carolina featuring some mighty sharp guitar playing alongside a rhythm section that would do Muscle Shoals proud.
For an album that sounds so simple, there’s a lot going on in Turn to Gold and Jack The Whistle, and I don’t just mean the razor sharp lyrics….this band can play…..I mean ‘really play.’
That first track is right up there; but my favourite song here…..and I don’t really know why, is the easy on the ear Leaving Charm City with only Jacob’s voice an acoustic guitar and a pedal-steel. It’s deep, gut wrenching and beautiful all rolled into one song. What’s not to like?
Dust to Gold is the type of timeless Soulful Southern Rock that was a staple of AOR Radio in the 70’s and 80’s but Cris Jacobs has managed to slightly rough up the over-polished edges and create something that is perfect for late night listening when you are sitting in the darkness with the one you love……or sitting alone thinking about the one you used to love!
Released November 2016