Diana Jones

Diana Jones
Song To a Refugee
Proper Records

A Sensitive and Powerful Collection of Perspectives on the Nature and Treatment of Refugees.

At the core of this release is probably the song which is least explicitly about refugees – “Humble;” nestled away three-quarters of the way through the album.
Here, the album’s genesis lies within – suffering from a year long illness caused by a gas leak in her apartment, forced Diana Jones to realise that “Life made you humble – all the living and dying,”
and faced with the media demonization of those who seek home and safety, arose the inspiration for the album.
Jones’ survival instinct mirrors that of those who seek to escape war and to find peace and she speaks “to” them to address negative media portrayals. The album opens with the Marty Robbins feel of “El Chaparral” – but darker lyrically because of its current subject matter – about one of the key crossing points on the Mexican/American Border, where infants were forced into squalid conditions away from their families.
Jones’ isn’t afraid to use pathos and personal stories to trigger an emotional response in the listener – the Scottish air of the title track “Song For a Refugee” doubles the emotional layers in musical mood and lyrics with its wish that
May you be happy and full and grow old
– a loving wish for safety, as
None of us know where our footsteps will fall”.
“Where We Are” takes the voice of a dispossessed child with
Number 47 on my shirt, on my arm” and “Santiago”, with its plaintive fiddle explodes the stories that arise out of the small details of personal possessions.
Elsewhere, Jones uses the voices of refugees – stories from her encounters and friends and from news coverage – “Mama Hold Your Baby” uses old time fiddle and banjo to recount Elizabeth Warren’s passed on tale of a Guatemalan mother who’d carried her baby to the border, reflecting both the horror and strength in such a story.
“I Wait For You” and “The Life I Left Behind” both speak with the voice of the refugee looking back on their former home. In the former, it’s the tale of a Sudanese woman forced to marry at 13, who, having escaped is now waiting – and hoping – to be reunited with her children, whereas in the latter, the refugee in their new land looks back at the destruction of their place of origin with sadness – both songs united by a Joan Baez-like musical delivery.
“The Sea Is My Mother” and “Love Song To a Bird” both take differing aspects of refugees at sea – in “The Sea Is My Mother” there’s a
Dream of peace and something more / waiting on a distant shore
and the path to that destination is the sacrifice of family. “
Love Song to a Bird” takes the detached view of the refugee boat from above and the distance amplifies the danger of the journey – musically in both lyrics are to the fore, with largely fingerpicked guitar leaving the lyrics out front.
One of the more uptempo numbers is “Ask a Woman”, which befits the positivity that the song proposes – set to a gentle country “boom-chick” rhythm, the strength of mothers and women are held up as being worthy of inspiration – not criticism,
Ask a woman – with a child in her arms.”
“We Believe You” – has been the lead out track to the album in the media and it contains a loud message about the importance of belief and empathy in the refugees’ stories.
Steve Earle/Richard Thompson/Peggy Seeger all take turns on vocals -the symbolism being that it isn‘t just one person believing in their stories of why they are fleeing – but “we”.
The repeated title becomes a mantra to consolidate that message – it’s going to be a festival rabble rouser for years to come.
The album ends, quite fittingly with “The Last Words” – Diana Jones talks of the shared experience of refugees and non-refugees
The stillness and the shadows come to steal our loved ones away
– we all seek safety and home and the refugees message is a Universal Message – we want home, safety and all that comes with it.
I’d vote for that.
In this album, Diana Jones has taken what could have been a one issue topic and exploded it wide, exploring viewpoints and narratives in and around the issue of refugees and putting the lyricism and poetry of those stories to the fore.

Review by Nick Barber

Released 25th September 2020
https://www.dianajonesmusic.com/
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https://www.propermusic.com/prpcd157_song_to_a_refugee.html

The Mystix CAN’T CHANGE IT

THE MYSTIX
Can’t Change It
Self-Released

A Very Tasty American Gumbo Fusing Gospel, Blues, Country and More.

Formed some 18 years ago by Jo Lily and Bobby B. Keyes, The Mystix are regarded by many as the epitome of what is often referred to as an ‘Americana Band’; fusing gospel, blues & country sounds from as far back as the 1920’s plus more recent contemporary music (not necessarily American in origin) to create a fascinating, eclectic and very tasty gumbo.

Can’t Change It is their 7th. album and renowned drummer Marco Giovani is not only part of the rhythm section (along with bassist Marty Ballou), he was also employed to add his magic as the Producer (previous spellbinding productions for Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris & Nora Jones certainly helped elevate his reputation).
The basic band is a 6 piece, with some belting electric and slide guitar from Duke Levine and impressive ivory tinkling from Tom West. Additionally, there are several special guests, on specific tracks, including the Dickinson Brothers from the North Mississippi Allstars, harmonica icon Charlie McCoy and surely pleasing many people on this side of the pond; pedal steel maestro – B.J. Cole.

For starters, we have a Dylan cover with Jo Lily’s vocals getting pretty close to sounding like His Bobness on “Outlaw Blues,” which is followed by another cover, this time superbly highlighting just what an underrated talent Timi Yuro was in the early 1960’s, with a rendition of her 1962 B-Side “Ain’t Gonna Cry”.
The next 2 tracks, “Carrie” & “Let’s Get Started”, with B. J. Cole on pedal steel; are both quality originals; before we have some up-tempo blues with “Jumper On The Line”, an old R.L. Burnside number which, quite appropriately, features fellow North Mississippians Luther Dickinson on slide guitar and Cody Dickinson on electric washboard.

It gets really interesting on the next track, one of two Frankie Miller songs, “Bottle of Whiskey” which introduces Charley McCoy’s plaintive harmonica.
The Glaswegian’s other contribution provides the album with its title “I Can’t Change It” which Frankie wrote when he was 12 years old and was once covered by Ray Charles.
There’s then a third cover with a right royal British connection, “Backstreet Girl”, a long lost gem by Mick & Keef and originally on The Rolling Stones’ 1967 album Between The Buttons (aka Flowers in the USA).

Reverting back across the North Atlantic there is an interesting version of the traditional “Wouldn’t Mind Dyin’” plus a terrific slow shuffle with “Going to The River,” courtesy of Blues legend Jimmy Reed’s pen.
There’s certainly a huge spectrum of styles on show and of normally accepted genres that all effortlessly meld into a most enjoyable album, perhaps emphasised best by the final track, “Dreamers Holiday” which is a Mabel Wayne and Kim Gannon beauty that was a massive hit for Perry Como in 1949; over 70 years ago!

In summary, I have to admit that The Mystix had, unfortunately, slipped off my radar in recent times, but by golly gumboil, they have gone and changed all that with Jo Lily, Bobby B. Keyes et al delivering a refreshing and entertaining new album.

Review courtesy Jack Kidd;
Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com

Released on 7th. August 2020
https://themystix.com/
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Daniel Meade and Lloyd Reid IF YOU DON’T MIND

Daniel Meade and Lloyd Reid
IF YOU DON’T MIND
Self-Release

100 x More Country or Americana Than 99% of Albums That Claim To Be.

Daniel Meade and Lloyd Reid hail from the River Clyde Delta in the foothills of Olde Scotia and make some of the finest darn Country Music that your ears are ever likely to hear.
What more do you need to know?
I have spoken.
Oh! That’s not enough for you is it?
Well, this is the pairs umpteenth album together in what has been a very fluid career, combining big ole City Centre gigs with their band The Flying Mules and village halls across the UK in whatever other format was necessary.
No two gigs or albums are ever the same; but you always know that Daniel Meade’s exquisite singing voice and heartfelt songs will make you despair that you aren’t actually watching a world famous Star of the Opry; because that’s what he sounds like to me.
On to their latest release; and one that has been a long time in the making and one of the best things to come out of music’s Annus Horriblus; ‘Lockdown 2020’, which forced the duo to use modern technology in the most old fashioned manner to create a fairly simple production that makes these songs all come alive in a way that you can’t find in many studios.

There’s a melancholic late night Honky Tonk feeling to opening track If You Don’t Mind that makes you think back to the glorious days of Hank and George on the wireless. The harmonies are absolutely spot on and the story in Meade’s song hangs in the air long after it’s finished.
To the untutored ear this album would probably be classed as Old Time Country; but that is doing Meade’s songwriting a huge disservice; as his subject matter is invariably more contemporary than just about anything coming out of Nashville this century.
This certainly applies to It’s Hard To Be a Man These Days and the mad minute that is Give This World a Shake; although their arrangements and Lloyd Reid’s astonishing guitar runs are certainly Old School or more pertinently Classic Country in my book.
For only two people, Meade and Reid create a ‘big sound’; but we already know what a multi-talented musician Dan Meade is; and that comes to the fore with his Dooley Wilson style piano playing on the winsome heartbreaker Good Heart Gone Astray and a few songs earlier the rather jaunty and black humour of Mother of Mercy.
Everyone who buys this album is going to have a different Favourite Song, that’s for sure; as each will touch different people in different ways; again this is my way of saying that Daniel Meade is a very clever songwriter.
At present I’m torn between the Western Swing of Why You Been Gone So Long?
The dark and almost Gothic Sleeping on the Streets of Nashville, which will resonate with far too many musicians who travel to Music City with so much hope in their hearts, and almost always ends in tears.
The other; and what I’m actually selecting as my actual Favourite Song on a rather special album is ………. cue drum roll……… Choking on the Ashes (That I’ve Burned); a bonafide Country tearjerker with Everly Brothers style harmonies and while that’s the Twang we associate with Chet Atkins; I’m also hearing (not for the first time or last here) more than a smidgen of Jazz Master Barney Kessell in Lloyd’s mellifluous guitar runs.
If you are a fan of Country Music, or even Americana you are going to absolutely love this album; but the sad part is that because Daniel Meade and Lloyd Reid don’t play the ‘corporate game’ IF YOU DON’T MIND isn’t likely to feature in any Awards ceremonies at the end of the year; yet it is 100 x more Country or Americana than 99% of the albums that will.

Go on; treat yourself.

Released September 18th 2020
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https://danielmeade.bandcamp.com/album/if-you-dont-mind

https://apple.co/2Yk3r9W


The Agency IN THE HAUNTED WOODS

The Agency
In The Haunted Woods
Self-Release

A Musical Jigsaw Full of Golden Melancholia and Dark Dreams.

First and foremost Singer/guitarist Steven K Driver is an occasional reviewer at RMHQ; but fear not ……… if this album had been crap I would have just ignored and pretended the postman hadn’t delivered it.
(Not for the first time either!)
But; just like their previous release OF GHOSTS, it’s the opposite of crap ……..it’s generally quite excellent in a Nick Cave meets The Handsome Family in a deserted fairground (or haunted forest) kind of way.
If that synopsis doesn’t appeal, feel free to turn away now …… but if it does; you’re in for a deep, dark and gloomy treat.
Opening track Numb, sets the scene perfectly well part droll, part introspective and part multi-layered Northern Gothic …… and I love it.
The mood picks up on track #2 Defender; a single which has picked up numerous plays in August on various Indie Radio stations; and you can easily tell why. OK it’s certainly not Taylor Swift or McFly ‘commercial’ but if your tastes are left of centre, the modern jazz spine should appeal to you.
For a band that never actually tours (they all have proper jobs and do this for ‘love’) The Agency have evolved a distinctive ‘sound’ with every part being absolutely essential to the final product (which might come from spending more hours ‘jamming’ than Coldplay and U2 combined! Ed.)
While all of that ‘practicing’ certainly pays off on individual songs; the divine Abigail and Diplomacy spring to mind; but first and foremost this is an old fashioned Long Player that demands your attention from start to finish; with each individual song/story building a beautifully complex life of its own.
Perhaps it’s the rich and slow way Driver croons, rather than sings that gives songs like The Affluent and Diplomacy a poetic feel; you know the type of thing Jim Morrison fans think he invented? Well Steven does that in a similar way; but perhaps a bit more authentically?
The finale is something of a surprise, as it starts with a lonely singer poring over lost love then gradually the band lend a series of post-Americana flourishes to the chorus ……… different – certainly; fascinating too; but a direction I’d love to hear more of.
Then; as is my won’t I must choose a Favourite Song, which isn’t easy as all of the constituent parts fit together like a musical jigsaw; but two songs have caught my attention in the last two days; when I was listening alone late at night (which I heartily recommend btw) ……. even the title To Fumble is Divine would normally have been enough to catch my attention; but I’d already fell in love with it before I knew what it was called; so this 4 minutes of golden melancholia must be special; mustn’t it? Well …. yes, it is.
The other’ and the one that claims the title is Summer Town; which sounds like it should be the soundtrack to a slasher movie called In The Haunted Woods!
Driver’s windswept and sorrowful voice aligned to a gentle melody draws you in to a very dark and almost Gothic tale; that to some extent is the cornerstone that the whole album revolves around.
There you have it; an album from the North East’s best kept musical secret; and an album that will age better than a vintage red wine ….. ladies and gentlemen; I give you The Agency; thank me later.

Released August 28th 2020
https://theagencyinthehauntedwoods.com/
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Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters RISE UP

Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters
RISE UP
Stony Plain

A Veritable Masterclass in Classic Blues.

I am so late to the work of Ronnie Earl it’s embarrassing. But, in my lowly defence there’s only so many hours in the day and my musical tastes are eclectic to say the least; but damn….. man, I love The Blues; and this Cat can play it like the Masters from the past, that we all revere so highly.

From what I gather this album has been quite spontaneous in the making, with several major events making Earl want to ‘create some music’ that reflected his feeling; and if that ain’t The Blues, I don’t know what is.
In the current political climate; not just in the United States, what better way to begin than with a re-invention of We Shall Not Be Moved, with Ronnie strumming an acoustic guitar gently and making the tune’s melody raw and painful; yet beautiful and heart affirming at the same time ….. which is quite some accomplishment.
The next cut is another ‘live recording from Daryl’s House Club in 2019;’ Higher Love featuring the divine Diane Blue on vocals of the sultry kind; which isn’t good for a man of my age!
At 15 tracks long, this is quite a long album by modern standards and when you consider that 3 tracks are six minutes long, one eight and the mighty opus Blues for Lucky Peterson comes in at an epic 10 minutes plus; you would be forgiven for thinking that Ronnie Earl has got carried away; but you’d be wrong; I doubt there’s a wasted note anywhere on this record.
For a man of his own undisputed talents, Ronnie Earl comfortably wears his influences on his sleeve; Blues For Lucky Peterson meanders and weaves like a country stream; but always finds its way back home; and another live cut; Albert’s Stomp is as dirty as it’s soulful, and somehow captures my attention in a way a certain guitarist from New York never has managed, yet tries desperately to sound this cool.
While most tracks here are from Mr Earl’s own pen; there are some fascinating covers dropped in like Musical hand-grenades; Eddie Taylor’s Big Town Playboy sounds sublime in the easy way Diane grooves around Earl and the Broadcasters; and it’s been a long, long time since I heard Magic Sam’s All Your Love (a regular in Newcastle’s Blues Burglar’s sets back in the 80’s) and again Diane Blue sings as if her life depends on it; albeit in a very restrained manner.
Obviously it’s a case of ‘each to their own’ but this version of You Don’t Know What Love Is; totally blew me away in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.
Obviously Ronnie Earl’s guitar playing is never far from the forefront; but the inclusion of Jimmy Smith’s Blues For J; which allows Dave Limina five or six minutes in the spotlight; as well as a meticulous drum solo from Forrest Pasgett is a masterstroke by my reckoning.
Just as big a surprise; but for different reasons is the staggeringly beautiful Lord Protect My Child.
Who knew that this was a Bob Dylan song?
Oh! Just me, then; but wow …… every single note is in exactly the right place and Earl’s guitar playing cuts through like knife through butter.
On most any other album that would easily be my Favourite Song; but this isn’t no ordinary release; as there are two brand new songs here that …… well …….. phew ……. for once I’m actually lost for words; but for telling you that the simplicity of Black Lives Matter and most pertinently; the inspired instrumental, Blues For George Floyd prove that you don’t have to shout from the rooftops to get your message across ……. plus; both will make you cry your heart out.
Therefore it’s a credible tie between these two ‘songs of our time.’
I’ve loved the mix and match way this album has been put together; but in all fairness ‘it’ is all about those last two songs; and while I don’t normally advocate it; if you must only download a couple of tracks (for fiscal reasons) …. make it those two.

Released September 11th 2020
Buy Don’t Spotify https://my.labelstore.ca/772532141826_rise_up_digital_mp3.html
http://www.ronnieearl.com/





John Jenkins GROWING OLD (Songs From the Porch)

John Jenkins
GROWING OLD (Songs From the Porch)
Self-Release

Destined to Linger Long in The Memory

One of the biggest problems at RMHQ is trying to keep up to date with all of the new releases that find their way to our little Nissen Hut in the North of England (South of Heaven!) and inadvertently some beauties fall by the wayside; which is what happened here; until my trusty IPhone re-discovered it last week on a car journey around the Yorkshire Dales.
The song in question was the opening track, Growing Old which was the perfect soundtrack to the day in question.
Very easy on the ear and with a ‘warm’ production and in Jenkins we have a singer cut from the same cloth as such disparate singers as Roger Whitaker, Graham Nash, Chris Difford and; dare I say it John Lennon?
While coming from Merseyside like Lennon, John Jenkins also has a soft enunciation to his words that owes more to the South side of the River Mersey than the North.
Jenkins appears to have ‘been around a bit’ and that comes across in his mature songwriting style and, just like the opener; in the subject matter he sings about.
Erring on the Americana side of Folk; This Mountain Between Us, I’m Almost Over You and, more especially the tender A Mother’s Devotion are all stateless in such a way the listener has no idea as to where the singer is singing about; be it Merseyside or deepest Arkansas; it matters not ……. all are wonderful songs from an all encompassing idiom.
There’s even a gentle Celtic lilt to Heartlands; a song that isn’t especially Irish but certainly Irish in it’s deep sensibilities and harmonies too.
The album title says it all really; this is a collection of laid-back and Grown Up observational tales that are generally very well constructed; all though one or two songs could do with a bit of editing, maybe losing one or two words in the stanzas?
This is music after all and not a bodice ripper novel.
Which brings us to my choice of Favourite Song; which hasn’t been easy; as the title track is very easy on the ear and heart too; as is A Wiser Man Than Me which just aches with longing.
Then there is Daniel White; a tragically beautiful epic condensed into two and a half melancholic minutes; and then the song that I’m making my actual Favourite Song; Jackson’s Farm which starts with a clap of thunder and Jenkins’ acoustic guitar is accompanied by a rainstorm for the next couple of minutes on a heart crushing song of lost love.
Sometimes I have to look back, to see that I haven’t missed anything of great importance and I’m glad I did this time; as while this album probably won’t win any National Awards it will linger long in the memory of all who buy it.

Released June 2020
Buy Don’t Spotify https://johnjenkinsmusic.com/store



Wynonna ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY

Wynonna
Angel From Montgomery
Anti_

There are but a handful of songs that transcend categorisation and can genuinely be deemed Classics.
John Prine wrote many great songs in his short time on earth; but the beautiful and powerful Angel From Montgomery is by far; a shining light that will be still be sung in concert Halls and Folk Clubs around the world long after his name is forgotten.

On the night of his passing, earlier this year Wynonna rushed to the studio to record this staggeringly heartfelt version to honour the Great Man; and proves to be the cornerstone for a fresh new EP called Recollections, coming in late October.

I was sitting in the kitchen when I got the news that John had flown,” Wynonna explains.
“I told Cactus I needed to sing ‘Angel From Montgomery’ that night because I needed to honor how much John had meant to me. I learned that song when I was a teenager, and now, forty years later, I’m still singing it, and hopefully passing it on to the next generation who will keep on singing it, too.

“I’ve learned a lot being at home these last few months,” Wynonna reflects. “When there’s no touring, no concerts, no band, no lights, no action, all that’s left is you and the song. All that’s left is your gift.” It was precisely that freedom that led Wynonna to ‘Recollections’, a project so spontaneous and organic she didn’t even realize she was making it at the time. “This EP was a labor of love without the labor,” she laughs. “As a songwriter, you can get bogged down in your own craft sometimes, but there’s something so liberating about letting go of all that and just inhabiting someone else’s writing.”

“I feel like I’m right back where I started,” she continued. “Like I’m 18 all over again. When I sing these songs, it feels like I’m coming home.” ‘Recollections‘ also features performances of
‘I Hear You Knocking’ by Fats Domino,
“King Bee’ by Slim Harpo,
‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone
‘Ramble On Rose’ by the Grateful Dead.
It will be released digitally and on CD on 30th October.

Pre-order here:
https://wynonna.ffm.to/store?ffm=FFM_732a384ae90f10bb003375891ddaa385

Brendan Quinn WILL WE EVER BE FREE?

Brendan Quinn
WILL WE EVER BE FREE?
Self-Release

As you know we receive a lot of singles at RMHQ; and the vast majority have to fall by the wayside simply for logistical reasons; but this single is as fascinating as it is poignant and prescient.

The Covid19 lockdown has been a difficult time for many people, none more so than the over 70’s.
But for legendary Irish Country singer Brendan Quinn it’s been a very productive time and he’s now releasing his lockdown themed single “Will We Ever Be Free” and is announcing a full album too.
“Not being able to do what I’ve been doing for 50 odd years came as a bit of shock! says Brendan, “Everything just stopped last February …… no more music.
I had a 14 day tour lined up for May, gigs and festivals over the summer, all cancelled.
But I tried to stay positive, I walked most every day and started to stream gigs live on FB from my front room.
I did it every day for 100 days and I reckon I sang about 700 songs. I really enjoyed interacting with all the folk online but it’s just not the same as playing in front of an audience but it kept me connected to my music.” 

Released September 18th 2020
http://brendanquinnmusic.co.uk/

Filmore STATE I’M IN

Filmore
State I’m In
Curb records

Radio-Friendly Country-Pop with Some Big Ole Choruses.

Tyler Filmore’s press release states that he “blends Country Music sensibilities with pop and electronic elements”.
Listening to the album I probably wouldn’t put those influences in that order – in fact I’d have them totally the other way round.
This is a pop album that utilises various country tropes, without ever really being “Country” as we know it – that’s not a criticism – I just think it does his music a disservice to label it thus.
If your expectation of “Country Music” is shaped by US (and to a certain extent) UK mainstream Country Music radio and you’re a fan of the kind of mass-appeal headliners at C2C , then this album fits right in.
If you’re a traditionalist, like most of us at RMHQ then maybe not so much. Opener “New to This” is pure modern pop with vocoded vocals and brickwall-limited instrumentation, that does the loud-soft trick to stress the singalong and rapping elements.
Streaming success “Slower” has a banjo on it, but it’s not Country – more singalong ‘take your brain out’ hedonistic pop drinking music.
“Country Song” actually isn’t a Country song, but expresses a love of a somewhat stereotyped poppy version of the medium.
“W.I.L.D” which precedes the title track also has a banjo – or maybe banjitar – but it’s modern pop AOR with an Aerosmith style guitar solo.
Title track “State I’m In” is glossy uptempo location naming pop whereas “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” is a glossy, trembly voice ballad; as is the subsequent slightly more rap-influenced “Blue Skies.”
With 18 tracks in total, Filmore takes the attitude that ‘if you don’t like this song; then there’s another one along in two to three minutes.’

Of the remainder, “Other Girl” is a classic doting love-song pop song and “Me Lately” has definite last dance potential.

“London” which had a video shot in the capital, in anticipation of a C2C appearance name-checks a bunch of British cliches that might go down OK as a beery Festival singalong, but sounds rather cheesy to a discerning UK audience when laid bare in the recorded form.
All in all, there’s plenty of value here for fans of ‘modern pop’ with infinite choruses, chants and even …….. rapping, a loud modern production made for streaming and lots of relatable relationship subject matter.

Released September 25th 2020
Courtesy Nick Barber.

http://www.filmoremusic.com/




Jimmie Vaughan THE PLEASURE’S ALL MINE

JIMMIE VAUGHAN
The Pleasure’s All Mine
Last Music Co.

Pioneering Guitar Legend Oozes Pure Unadulterated Class.

Four times Grammy winner Jimmie Vaughan isn’t just a guitarist from Texas and he isn’t just regarded by many as one of the purest, finest blues players to grace this earth.
Here’s what I think he is; an absolute pioneering guitar legend who can pick a song from almost any genre and then effortlessly convert that song into a rootsy blues song.
So there!

After releasing “Do You Get the Blues” in 2001, there was a 9 year gap in him making another solo studio album. However, in 2010 those astute people at London based Proper Records mutually initiated a return to recording, which resulted in “Blues, Ballads and Favourites”.
This stunning album, covering what could be regarded as The Great American Blues Songbook, featured some guest vocalists, including long-time collaborator, the sassy and soulful Lou Ann Barton.
Then in 2011 the concept and formula was replicated with the same musicians going back into the same studio for “More Blues, Ballads and Favourites”.

So to celebrate those twin pivotal experiences of a decade (or so) ago and to also satisfy the in-vogue U-Turn trend by the music buying public of returning to 12” vinyl, The Last Music Co. (a division of Proper Music) will release a special 3 LP collection, covering both those albums, entitled The Pleasure’s All Mine.
There’s also a 2 CD version for those (like me) who prefer to continue to purchase their music and maintain their collection, having the best of both worlds, a CD on the shelves plus a digital version for the MP3 player of your choice. If you missed them first time around, then now is the time for rectification.

Both albums were recorded, similar to the originals, “Live in the studio” and in “mono” too, fitting together like the proverbial glove.
The superb horn section of Greg Piccolo and Doug James (both ex Roomful of Blues) are prominent throughout, whilst the rhythm section (George Rains on Drums and Ronnie James on Bass) are granite solid.
From the first album you also have the bonus of ex-King Records house band organist, the legendary Bill Willis, who gets to croon lead vocals on “Funny How Time Slips Away”.

You can easily imagine Jimmie and his brother growing up in Dallas, listening to the various Border Radio Stations blasting out such classic, vintage material and being subsequently, heavily influenced by each and every song they heard.
I remember reading somewhere that Jimmie could never differentiate between the musical genres of country, pop and blues, which is testimony to what you hear on The Pleasure’s All Mine.
Whilst there are a few obscurities, the 31 songs range from the catalogues of Willie Nelson, Gene Autry and Mel Tillis of Country, to the Swampy Pop of Lloyd Price and Bobby Charles, on to the Rock’n Roll of Little Richard then to the Rhythm & Blues of Nappy Brown and Ray Charles as well as, of course, the straight Blues from the likes of Jimmy Reed, Guitar Junior and Roy Milton.

What is most impressive though is that once you hear the renowned tone and timing of his guitar playing, coupled with the expressive, laid back vocals, then you realise that the music patently oozes pure unadulterated class.
Thereby, ensuring that it’s you, the lucky listener, who receives all of the pleasure.

Jack Kidd: “Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com

Released 30th October. 2020
https://www.jimmievaughan.com/jimmie-vaughan-biography

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https://smarturl.it/jvpleasure