Its been a few years since Andrew ‘Jr. Boy’ Jones has had a new release out. The Canadian Electro-Fi label has just released the Texas guitar slinger’s latest disc, Gettin’ Real, with some muscular guitar and husky vocals from the one-time Freddie King band member. His first release was for JSP and led to a solid subsequent release for Bullseye Blues. Having this new release from him is certainly welcome.
Jones makes no attempt to break new ground by recycling blues-rock as rock here. Instead what we have on this collection is some straight-ahead Texas blues along with two jazz-inflected soul-funk instrumentals. The opening Struggle, sets the table here with an insistent vocal of a lyric about losing his job and things being unsettled on the home front accompanied by some searing guitar. John Street’s keyboards add to the feel of the People Say I’m Crazy, as Jr. Boy sings about how this woman breaks his heart so many times yet still crazy to love his woman. He tells his lady his tired of her Negative Talkin’, as Cheryl Arena adds some down home harmonica with Street rollicking on piano. The rest of the rhythm, bassist, Tommy Tucker and drummer, Jamie Byrom keep things in the pocket.
The old Wilson Picket groover Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You, is given a driving instrumental treatment as Jr. Boy opens with some tasty mix of jazzy chording and single note runs which would be interesting if he also employed this approach backing some of his vocals here. Don’t Get It Twisted, has a slow funky groove with a melody suggestive of Mustang Sally, as Andrew wonders who is driving his new car and wearing his new suit. A nice change of pace is afforded by the soulful ballad Good Lovin’. This varied and entertaining disc closes with some more jazz-inflected playing on an instrumental rendition of What’s Going On.
Given what passes for blues today, it is refreshing to listen to such a strong, straight-forward blues recording that doesn’t claim to break new ground. All it does is deliver straight blues to the listener.
I likely received my review copy from Electro-Fi. This review was written in late 2009. This should be readily available.