Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album


Jonny Lang, going back to his roots with an album that has a deep vein of blues timing and tempo to explore. Into this vein of rich musical treasures, he weaves in soul and the rawness of deep roots music, making sure your interest is always whetted with anticipation of what is coming next.

The first sign of this album has a fresh approach is the opening track Make It Move with the deep gospel, chain gang infused choruses. This is contemporary roots, porch step blues. We are making the move, going to the mountain rather than waiting for it to come to you; making that effort to put the first step forward as the guitar squeals demanding attention. Signs is an album replete with textures and tones have been blended, shaken and stirred into a cocktail of guitar, electrics and vocals that rasp out the lyrics

Never constrained by traditional rules of electric guitar blues, Lang re-shapes the sound as we meet snakes in the grass the power of the guitar licks build with blinding riffs full of venomous intent as funk collides with blues and a driving octane that is the signature of Jonny Lang as he meets the Snakes on track two. The power builds the drive becomes more determined and though he sings Last Man Standing you know if it is a contest of guitar playing many will fall by the wayside as Lang plays on full of grit, skill and determination that rocks.

The title track often reveals a lot about the intent of the album. The Signs are definitely clear on this title track. The guitar taking the lead it is eventful, full of activity and at times pulling blues into the cocktail of mixed up sounds. The vocals pull the mix of solo guitar and then the deep riffs that curl around the ear making the sound fizz.  Bitter End, again has the feel of an urgency to throw in all the ingredients into the cocktail, often like taste the ear can only comprehend so much and simplifying the sonic onslaught makes the tone structure more memorable as you are not rushing onto the next cascade of sound.

Signs is a journey of a musician looking for a contemporary space which has not been caught like a spider in a web of a particular guitar based genre and approach. The signal that Lang is putting together his own earthy sound rooted deep in the earth of guitar creativity is emerging on this album Signs. As we head home the album slows, the frenetic pace is stilled as we have the first of a trio of tracks that have been stripped back to a more ordered structure. Bring Me Back Home, his voice is soulful full of emotional yearnings giving the lyrics the power. The energy and drive of the stomp are picked up on Wisdom. The sound is electric in its simplicity showcasing the vocal tones of Jonny’s voice combine by clear cut precise guitar. Closing out with Singing Songs is my favourite, redeeming the album making you go back and explore all the pathways Lang has taken us along on Signs. The breathlessness of the vocals fill out as the chorus picks up we will go on singing songs/ The reason why Jonny Lang continues to perform it is that the song is at the heart of Signs whether wrapped in guitar complexity or stripped down on the last few numbers.

Signs builds with an intensity at first, and it can seem confused, too busy, not sure what the sound wants to be. Then as the tracks become more familiar on every listen you unpick another cadence, sound bite the cocktail of styles now makes sense as Signs becomes the musical cocktail of choice.  There is no doubt that Signs, his first album since signing with Mascot Label Group has a maturity of a young man who after two decades of success at the age of thirty-six has mixed up the genres creating a new sign post ‘Lang Sound’; get to know the new direction before deciding as there is much that is good about the direction even if the pathway at times is cluttered. Signs with it complexity grows with every listen.

Jonny Lang – Signs – Mascot Label Group

Release 25th August 2017

EIGHTpawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Make It Move
  2. Snakes
  3. Last Man Standing
  4. Signs
  5. What You’re Made Of
  6. Bitter End
  7. Stronger Together
  8. Into The Light
  9. Bring Me Back Home
  10. Wisdom
  11. Singing Songs


Signs are Positive on Jonny Lang Latest Album

CD Review: Sam Lewis ~ Waiting On You

Sam Lewis - 'Waiting On You' - cover (300dpi)


Sam Lewis
Waiting On You
Brash Music

Release Date 11th September 2015


From the first to the last note Sam Lewis has created for his second album, Waiting On You full of country music with soul, that is delicate, upbeat and very listenable as he churns up the emotions and harnesses the inherent energy of music! 3/4 Time opens the album with a smile as you click into the tempo and tune into the vocals that are smooth as cream poured over luscious strawberries kissed with the summer’s warmth. The title track is a quieter more thoughtful song given texture by the delights of The McCrary Sisters as backing vocals and the percussive beat of the drums acting as punctuation to the lyrics. The beat changes with Things Will Never Be The Same; the tempo has an urgency as the words cascade off Sam’s silver tongue and the catchy vocals will make this track a favourite for the radio DJ’s I am sure. The Acoustic guitar has a clarity and the blues is melded with the country rift giving a deep rooted feel to the music, there is a feeling of being forlorn but still fighting and this tension is accompanied by the piano keys picking out the mood as he is seen Reinventing The Blues.  Closing the album with Coming Home, sums up the album a feeling that this is music that is warm and safe. Sam is easy going will never frighten the audiences and his appeal will be wide as he crosses into a mainstream sound. What saves the album from just being nice is the clever instrumentation and arrangements as Sam has invited a wide range of Nashville’s finest including Darrell Scott (Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Robert Plant) who’s haunting lap-steel on Never Again is awesome, harmonica legend Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young), keyboardist Gabe Dixon (Paul McCartney, Supertramp), and Nashville’s favourite vocal group, The McCrary Sisters (Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, etc.). This gives the album a depth of tone as the lexicon of country is explored this is a second album that will get Sam Lewis heard as his voice and musical integrity shine through and the album becomes a listen again favourite.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Sam Lewis - 'Waiting On You' (front & back cover)

CD Review: Jack Hutchinson ~ Band Get It Back

jack hJack Hutchinson Band
Get It Back

No wonder Jack Hutchinson has been included on Blues Magazine’s list of ‘Ones To Watch in 2015’ , on the EP; Jack and the band have a scorching sound that is full of depth, rawness and electric blues. Jack has the all too rare combination of the ability to kick ass with the guitar and have vocals that are powerful and work in harmony with the sound being produced.
The E.P. has six self-penned tracks that are a real tasty introduction to the talents of Jack Hutchinson, his guitar work is full of licks and lead breaks that are long enough to beguile at times leaving you wanting more, but never so long that the guitar becomes tiresome. There are no tracks going spare to fill out the space of a full CD, we have the opportunity to listen to the real Jack how he wants to perform and showcase the band.

The opener Wake Up is a track that once the first note is played makes you sit up listen and take notice with the click of the drum sticks and then into full throttle guitar you are ready to rock long before Jack’s voice joins in and as he sings ‘wake up and smell the roses…’ you know this is an E.P. that means business. This is not a one tempo – one style album as the textures, tones and emphasis change but always the musicianship is the focus of your attention as they are determined to rock your soul. Loving Man is more measured with some great bass from Rick Brazendale, then Jack’s voice full of measured bluesy tones that hits all the right emotions and notes on this slower track, less rocky and shows the purity of the guitar playing. Get It Back is a rocky fast-moving track that gets the adrenalin pumping and sets you in a spin. Too soon the last and longest track is playing Hey Hey Hey; opening with the sounds of the sea on a beach and some gentle acoustic guitar contrasting with the other tracks. This is a different side of talented Jack Hutchinson; a talent to definitely watch out for in 2015, buy the CD and catch him live he will definitely entertain.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD SEVEN doodle paws out of TEN ….pawprint half inch

Track Listing

Wake Up
Look In The Mirror
Loving Man
Never Too Late
Get It Back
Hey Hey Hey

Jack Hutchinson: Guitar and Vocals
Rick Brazendale: Bass
Jim Brazendale: Drums
Tom Brundage: Harmonica.