Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
The jewel in the young crown, the precious stone in the armoury of Blues and the natural complement to the likes of Joanne Shaw Taylor and Joe Bonamassa, Laurence Jones offers a freedom of mouth watering ability, one that survives in the ether of the mind well after the death of the day and the dawn of a new beginning. It is to the man and his guitar, the hospitality of Blues groove that the listener finds them themselves applauding the musicians for giving them a mature sense of Take Me High.
Art is arguably the most natural way to feel the truth of existence, the high from living which cannot be contained and must not be extinguished, it is to art that The Blues in the 21st Century has regained its unpretentious assurance, its place back in the musical world and unhindered by the slow death it had placed itself in the preceding eras, a world in which the often cited dinosaurs had almost taken the genre backwards.
Take Me High, a simple enough command by the young Blues gunslinger and his respected legendary producer, Mike Vernon. Listening to the album it is almost as if the two great strands of the Blues genre had fused together in a once disused foundry, now brought back to life effortlessly and with a blue print laid down by 21st Century adoration and 1960s craft; the intervening years, as highlighted in their slow decay now almost forgotten.
It is to the jewels of the new century that the Blues now looks too, the prospect of the soaring note with the ferocity of a lion roaring in the open space of the plains a distinct and beautiful moment; a moment that rolls on throughout Laurence Jones’ new release.
This though is not an album of disparate songs, of the wide range of emotions scattered through the sound of Blues, this is a story, a tale, the adventure in which to lose yourself like a great novel demands, a searing cry from the hero of the text made audible, made clear and shattering, this is music as a book would have your attention, from start to finish one placed down with imagination, a gripping narrative and one in which no one is dismayed by the ending.
With tracks such as Something’s Changed, Addicted to Your Love, Thinking About Tomorrow and Down & Blue all hitting the right highs and the sincere beautiful lows, this is arguably Laurence Jones most important work yet, the master is coming out of his shell and the resounding groove is to be admired. Laurence Jones doesn’t just take you high, he elevates you beyond the sight of the horizon.
Laurence Jones’ Take Me High is released on July 22nd.
Ian D. Hall