Take Me High
With Laurence Jones New Album
Back in the studio, Laurence Jones has produced an album that will make you want to return as you have a place to go despite the album’s title. Take Me High, produced by Mike Vernon, Laurence’s style and approach is mature, a real sense of purpose the blossoming of all the potential recognized in this young guitarist. With three studio albums under his belt and thousands of miles travelled to play the blues live, definitely a young guitarist with power, commitment, and a gritty determination.
This is an album whose music and lyrics ebb and flow. The collaboration between Laurence & Mike, has create a collection of songs that moved through the album like chapters in a book. Laurence with his new drummer Phil Wilson, bassist Roger Innis and Bob Fridzema on keys & organ wanted an album that fizzed with the energy of playing live.
The first thing you notice as the album opens with Got No Place To Go, the guitar is full, the bass line fat and Laurence vocals full of assured confidence. His guitar breaks, licks, and swirls have always lifted the imagination now his vocals are unveiling the story of why he has no place to go. He will always have a place to go with his snake charming guitar playing that lifts the tracks up and makes the sound pop out of the speaker. With ten tracks this is an album where Laurence is stating I am here to stay this is who I am and Blues is what I play. The plaintiff Something’s Changed has a hard edge from his guitar and the rhythm is full of misplaced optimism as the phone call is waited for. Yes, something has changed Laurence is delivering a mature self-confident sound he is playing to delight and delight he does. Three tracks in a guest vocalist Reuben Richards joins in as they Live it Up. The tempo kicks up a pace there is an airiness in the chord structure underpinned by Bob on keys. The guitar playing is masterful and the album leaves you wanting to go and see Laurence live, the tracks have that raw intensity that makes blues with a twist of rock addictive listening.
The chapters of a love story are revealed with every track. The keys, underpin the melodic force of I Will. Here we feel the emotion as Laurence promises to keep on loving I Will he sings, and then serenades the unseen lover with his ever-present blistering guitar that should melt any heart. The music changes with a dirty, swamp southern infused rock sound as he is Down & Blue. He is a long way from home, he wants some pills. The emotional angst is heard in the vocals and echoed by the vocals. We are feeling your pain, Laurence. Then the tempo clears and picks up with a clear vision as a cameo from Paul Jones’ harmonica joins the party. The harmonica curls around the lyrics as Laurence sings The Price I Pay and his fingers explore the fretwork. Closer with Higher Ground, the blues is chugging and the lyrics driving you home in the company of Laurence Jones, British, modern and full of the blues.
This is an album that grows with every listen. You hear more of the lyrics a guitar lick and the intertwining of Laurence and the whole band so the music is fat, full blues that captures the emotional feel of contemporary re-interpretation of blues.as personified with the ringing blues guitar with a brittle edge of the title track Take Me High!
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Got No Place To Go
- Something Changed
- Live It Up
- Addicted To Your Love
- I Will
- Thinking About Tomorrow
- Take Me High
- Down & Blue
- The Price, I Pay
- Higher Ground