CD Review: Laurence Jones ~ What’s It Gonna Be

Gonna Be

 

Laurence Jones
What’s It Gonna Be
Ruf Records
Release Date 13th April

 

Opening with the title track the self-assured opening guitar and vocals tells you this album is gonna be – a maturing Laurence Jones putting down on the recording the music he has been playing on the road and reflects the honing of skills touring with his band that has given him the poised confidence to play the rocky harder edge blues that he enjoys and we enjoy listening to.

The Rhythm section with stylish Roger Inniss on his six-string bass has given Laurence a fellow musician to bounce his intuitive riffs and licks off so that the sound is full with a quality of timing that you get when you understand the people you are playing with; and the drumming by Miri Meittinen is inspired with deft swipes of the cymbals embellishing the vocals on tracks such as Evil. The next track has a swampy southern feel that has a driving beat that is infectious and certainly gets the feet tapping the guitar work is impeccable and like the song touches moonlight.
We have the addition of the sparkling female vocals of Sandi Thom duetting on the single from the album Don’t Look Back. And as his career grows this is a young man who definitely has lots to look forward to. This is a gentler number that allows the guitar to bend around the melody line and the vocals blend together this is a track steeped in harmonies creating a sound that should get airplay across the stations. All I Need opens with drums and a deep bass line that allows the guitar and vocals to sing at a higher pitch, this is blues that has a popular appeal that will win him even more fans. We have a different tempo and texture with Good Morning Blues, with a spoken intro and then hard snake bitten driven blues guitar that pumps out the bottom line with his voice searing through the beat sets down a track full of energy, interest and certainly one of the highlights for me with its dirty feel and authenticity of timing and style.
Nearer the End is there going to be a gentle ending now we have another change in tempo and vocal direction as the second guest fellow RUF record artist Dana Fuchs joins the Laurence Jones party. This rocking number, Can’t Get Enough, has a chorus line that is infectious and live will get the crowds singing, Dana’s vocals are full of grit and blues moodiness that reflects the beat and then serenades with Laurence this is such a catchy R’n’ B number it oozes style and popularity.
Closing with a track always popular when you hear Laurence live is Stop Moving The House, ending a party of an album with stylish keys as Laurence begs the House to stop moving following a night out on the town. The track finishes the album on a high leaving you wanting more – easily remedied catch Laurence live at a town near you.
The album benefits from the addition of keys to the bedrock of the band; delivered by Jools Grudgings or Lewis Stephens and fine backing vocals from SJ Mortimer. The production by Roger and Laurence shows what all round talent this young man is with his superlative guitar work across the eleven tracks; vocals that emotionally engage with the lyrics, melody and listener as he delivers songs that highlight his songwriting skills. This third Laurence Jones album; What’s It Gonna Be is definitely the best yet with a continuing growth in vocal delivery augmenting the guitar playing he has always been recognised for. He is becoming the real deal when delivering British blues that rocks, rattles and pleases.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch
Track Listing

1. What’s It Gonna Be
2. Don’t Need No reason
3. Evil
4. Touch Your Moonlight
5. Don’t Look Back (Feat. Sandi Thom)
6. All I Need
7. Being Alone
8. Good Morning Blues
9. Can’t Get Enough (Feat. Dana Fuchs)
10. Set It Free
11. Stop Moving The House

Band
Laurence Jones – Vocals and Guitars
Roger Inniss – Bass
Miri Miettinen – Drums

Additional musicians
Keyboards Julian ‘Mr Jools’ Grudgings & Lewis Stephens
Backing Vocals SJ Mortimer

Special Guest
Sandi Thom (track 5)
Dana Fuchs (track 9)

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