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JW-Jones - 'High Temperature' Album Review


1. Price You Pay

2. How Many Hearts (feat. Jaida Dreyer)

3. High Temperature

4. Murder In My Heart For The Judge

5. Who Am I

6. Away Too Long

7. Same Mistakes

8. Leave Me Out

9. Midnight Blues

10. Out In The Woods

11. Already Know

12. Where Do You Think I Was

13. Wham

The eighth album from Ottawa, Canada Blues man JW-Jones has just come out in the UK, ahead of an 18-date UK tour, which starts in Worthing on 23rd November. I've followed JW-Jones since his debut with “Defibrillatin”, way back in 2000, and actually caught him live in a small Dublin pub back in 2006, around the time of his fourth release, “Kissing In 29 Days”.

He has continued to impress over the years, and on “High Temperature” - produced by fellow Canadian, but now Nashville-based, Colin Linden – we are treated to lots of varying styles and genres over the 13 tracks, but with Jones's fine guitar and vocals always impressing. It is a worthy successor to the equally impressive “Belmont Avenue” from 2014.

The musicians on the album include his touring bass player, Laura Greenberg, together with a strong line-up of sessions players such as Dominic Davis, Kevin McKendree and Bryan Owings; together with Liam Russell singing harmonies on several tracks and a duet with Jaida Dreyer on her song, “How Many Hearts”, that she co-wrote with Colin Linden.

As for the music, well, it is hugely enjoyable from start to finish. It gets underway with the 'Stonesy' flavours of “Price You Pay” - shades of Keith Richards in the guitar work; it is followed by the afore-mentioned “How Many Hearts” - a soulful strut as the two voices combine; the quirky “Murder In My Heart For The Judge” shows off JW-Jones's fine voice with more sparkling guitar.

The personal “Who I Am” is a stand out - a funky Blues with nice keyboards from Kevin McKendree, and co-written with fellow Ottawan Dick Cooper - and the rhythm section pushing the groove along; “Midnight Blues” is another gem, riding on another lovely performance from all the musicians, with tough solo from Jones himself. “Already Know” is a gentle, soulful number, with some gorgeous harmonies, which floats along beautifully.

This most enjoyable and recommended release ends in uproarious fashion with a rousing take on Lonnie Mack's classic instrumental “Wham”, with Jones showing his full range of licks. For those seeking a change form the current onslaught of 'Blues Rock' material, this is for you – a pure Blues (and related stuff!) album.

Review - Grahame Rhodes

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