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Album review

Laurence Jones 

Temptation

added: 10 Feb 2014 // release date: 10 Mar 2014 // label: Ruf
reviewer: Andy Snipper

Laurence Jones - Temptation - Printable version
The cover tells a story: a young man holding an old and battered Strat and as he looks down at the guitar he seems to be saying “This is the chord that will tame you”. Tame it he has – this is one of the most impressive major label debuts I’ve heard in years.

He has had a certain buzz around him for the last year or so and the people who know have talked about him in the same breath as Oli Brown or Aynsley Lister. He is a fine guitarist but also a good songwriter and he seems to have more confidence about him that is proper for a young man. Maybe though it is also the company he has been keeping – half of The Royal Southern Brotherhood are playing on the album and guys like Mike Zito and Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton don’t lend their talents to the average duffer down the pub. Jones supported the RSB on their recent UK tour and it looks as though they have heard enough to play a full role on the album.
The electric though is all Jones – Zito plays acoustic and piano here – and he riffs and rolls like a demon. There is a soulful touch to his hard Blues and he sings well enough to do his words justice too.

The songs cover a wide range of styles and he manages to show that he has a handle on all of them – the funky title track is terrific while ‘Move On’ has the sound of a slightly rockier ‘Cocaine’. Inevitably there is a slower and more moody Blues – ‘Fall From The Sky’ – but it avoids the predictable traps and develops into a massive number without overplaying the mood.

It is one of those albums that sound better with repeated playing – you begin to hear the little bits of interplay between Jones and Wooton or Zito’s influence and then there is Johnny Ransome’s harp on ‘Soul Swamp River’ – just peerless.

No question about it, this guy is The Shit. Get on board now.


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4 stars

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