14 December 2019 (released)
17 March 2020
The blues has always come out of taking a cynical or jaded outlook and making it swing. Laughing at the devil. Leader of the Blues Rockets, Jackson Price spent a decade and a half in the belly of the beast, making the rounds as a supporting actor in Los Angeles. Now, having set up shop in New Mexico, Price has the benefit of distance and time to reflect on the road that got him to where he is now. I Used to Have Fun is the jeering but rollicking debut release from a band who's been through the wringer and come out the other side with their sense of humour intact.
Heading east from L.A. has got Price halfway to Texas and that state's classic shuffle is on display on the opener 'Threshold'. The Blues Rockets hit their stride somewhere between Double Trouble and ZZ Top. Price airs his grievances, backing them up with sarcastic slide guitar licks. 'Evil By the Plenty' hooks and jams with its fanfare lead riff and snappy beat. Sax and guitar duel solos for the title of “most evil”. 'Bald, Fat and 45' takes it down to an acoustic and brushes shuffle with Price jesting and jabbing about the inevitable trappings of middle age.
Price again wields his slide on the steady rockin' 'Message From God'. The single features the bandleader shakin' his fists at the heavens wondering why the big man hasn't chosen to talk to him yet. 'Bones Get Old' pays homage to the electrified honk of the British Bluesbreakers while 'Thank You B.B.' takes it right down to give a loving tribute to the master of the conversational slow-play. The heat of a sweaty BBQ joint mid-summer is palpable.
I Used to Have Fun is a classic blues record with a sharp, snarky side. Price takes tried and true tropes and turns them on their side and the Blues Rockets are as solid as any blues combo, from shredding electric boogie to back porch acoustic shuffle.