Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Walk the Talk" - Son Jack Jr.and Michael Wilde (Self Released)

Living Blues CD Review, October 2010
Walk The Talk
A product of London, England, now hailing from Seattle, Washington, Son Jack Jr. is back with harp sideman Michael Wilde for his third album, Walk The Talk.

With a mixture of tracks that include covers and originals, it’s obvious that Son Jack Jr. is flexing his blues talents on his latest release. While this disc offers more electric guitar than his previous releases, he by no means abandons the Delta blues style that earned him critical acclaim. Tracks such as Howlin’ Poppet and a cover of Charley Patton’s Pony Blues reveal Son Jack Jr.’s Delta blues chops have not slipped one bit. On most of the rest of the album Jack shifts to the electric guitar where his playing has a decidedly North Mississippi/John Lee Hooker feel.
Down So Low, Crying Time, and an excellent cover of Hooker’s Crawlin’ King Snake are the highlights of the disc. Don’t look for blazing fast, intricate, or over-the-top guitar fills or solos here. Son Jack Jr. carries most of the tracks with his slow, often hypnotic guitar playing. His vocals have matured and are much sharper, not wavering as they did on some of his previous work. Michael Wilde’s harmonica works nicely with Jack’s groove and again is not too over the top. His slow, heart-wrenching solo that kicks off Crying Time is his best work on the disc.

Going in a little different direction has worked out well for Son Jack Jr. here. Walk The Talk stacks up well with his other work and gives listeners a little bit more variety. Son Jack Jr.’s and Michael Wilde’s styles mesh well and are satisfying to the ear.


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