Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jon Zeeman Blue Room

Jon Zeeman
Blue Room
Membrane Records

Singer-guitarist Jon Zeeman has been playing music for quite some time, currently mostly in Florida. His deep influences include Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, and he played a bit with the late Allman Brothers drummer, Butch Trucks. Trucks in fact is on drums on two tracks, probably his final recordings. Others in the band include Phil McArthur on bass (who also engineered, mastered and mixed this), Bob Taylor and/or Tom Regis on keyboards, George Lilly on drums (expect for the tracks with Trucks), Bob Taylor on congas and Tom Regis on keyboards.

Zeeman's blues-rock approach has a definite appeal as on the opening "All I Want is You," a nice blues shuffle and one of the tracks with Trucks on drums. His sandpaper tinged vocals certainly has appeal as does his crisply played guitar as well as the accompanying organ solo set against a crisp rhythm section that swings its groove. "Hold On" perhaps a bit more in a blues-rock vein, but he displays a nice sense of dynamics here. "Love in Vain" is a credible, if unremarkable rendition of the Rolling Stones recording followed by the chugging shuffle "Next To You," the last of tracks with Trucks on drums. Certainly it is worth noting how a strength of Zeeman's vocals is unforced delivery and the backing here again is strong.

There is nice playing in Zeeman's Jimi Hendrix cover, "Still Rainin' Still Dreamin'," with the organist adding to the flavor here. A slow blues, "If I Could Make Love Me," is a standout, nicely paced, performance with nice vocal and some very hot guitar set against a solid rhythm. "All Alone," is a solid rocking blues whose main section evoke shints of Wolf's "Who's Been Talking?", while another musical section has a different melodic core with neat guitar and piano solos. After funking things up on "Talkin' About My Baby," there is the short instrumental title track.

The album closes with some more nicely played blues-rock, "Nothin' in the World." Like the rest of his recording it is nicely paced and the backing is crisp but never overplays and one can appreciate his focused guitar and his nicely delivered singing. The result is a very solid recording in this vein.

I received my review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the May-June  Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 372). Here is Jon Zeeman performing live.

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