There is a lot about this album that I really – and I mean REALLY – like. I really like: power Blues and his guitar has so much attack and punch that I am instantly put in mind of Phillip Sayce but he is a better vocalist than Sayce. I also really like the rawness of his sound, unpolished but deeply faceted and with all the energy that the form requires.
He really is a throwback to the great bands of the seventies and he has supported the likes of ZZ Top and Lynrd Skynrd as well as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Derek Trucks to great success. He has also shared stages with some of the Blues greats – Buddy Guy, ‘Honeyboy’ Edwards – and learned from every one.
This is one hell of a debut album, produced by Warren Huart and with a couple of tracks produced by the legendary Eddie Kramer he swings between outright rock and some grand boogie with touches of Delta Blues (style) as well. The band are a three piece (the perfect number) and Eric Sandin on bass and Dennis Holm on drums deliver a stunning engine room for him to work from.
From the opener ‘Playing For Keeps’ I was entranced. Powerful rhythm section and burning guitar riffery and then those growled vocals – stone classic.
‘Can You Feel It’ is a terrific boogie – think Ted Nugent before he went mad – and then there is ‘All Your Pain’ showing that he has a sensitive side as well with a slowed down ballad that still burns with restrained power.
‘Blackfoot’ is apparently a tribute to his near neighbours the Blackfoot Tribe of Original Americans and the riff and drive are enervating – his screaming guitar really fits with the Blackfoot reputation as fierce fighters. "In Wisconsin, I was surrounded by Indian reservations and culture," says Jared. "I'd do casino and reservation tours as a kid. When I wrote the song, I was reading about all of these badass tribes. I love that spirit and vibe inherent in Native American culture. The Blackfoot were truly bad motherfuckers. That lick is what I feel their culture represented."
Oddly enough, after all that blast and riffing, one of my favorite tracks is ‘Take My Hand’ where he plays what sounds like a resonator and does it pretty well on a gospel/Delta influenced number. A simple backbeat leads into a burning blast of power Blues but always that slide in the sound – lovely.
He is supporting Glenn Hughes on his October tour and sounds well worth catching. OCTOBER Saturday 17th - Southampton, Engine Rooms Monday 19th - Norwich, Waterfront Tuesday 20th - Newcastle, Tyne Theatre Thursday 22nd - Belfast, Limelight Friday 23rd - Glasgow, The Garage Sunday 25th - Holmfirth, Picturedrome Monday 26th - Bilston, - Robin 2 Wednesday 28th - York, Fibbers Thursday 29th - Manchester, Club Academy
NOVEMBER Sunday 1st - London, ENGLAND – Electric Ballroom