Review Summary: Has all the key qualities for a good roots album - great playing, good singing and original tunes.
Ok, so playing the blues, blues-inflected rock, and all roots-connected music usually doesn’t mean anything experimental or really brand new as far as the sound is concerned. But then, that isn’t the point anyway. Fans and lovers of the sound don’t expect any drastic innovations anyway. What they want to hear is good playing, singing and at least a personal, emotional approach to music. If the quality original material is included in such a package, even better. What they certainly don’t want is uninspired noodling, particularly with poorly re-hashed standards, that everybody has done at least a few times better.
So in comes, a former LA actor Jackson Price relocated to New Mexico and determined to bring along his view of the blues and roots with his Blues Rockets. Their debut, I Used to Have Fun squarely falls in the first category of blues/roots music, the stuff devoted fans of the genre really want to hear.
First of all, Price opts for all-original material, although by his version of the classic “Dust My Broom” available on YouTube, he has no problem with blues standards. To be able to make any blues/roots material of your own sound remotely interesting, first of all, you have to b totally immersed and knowledgeable of that sound. And judging by what he presents here, Price has obviously done his homework. A + there. Secondly, he might have been an actor once, but his guitar playing is no acting. Try “Evil by the Plenty” for the electric sound, or the slide on “Message from God”. Then, his singing might not be the whiskey-soaked type connected to old bluesmen, but he knows how to handle it and fit it into music the way it should.
Even more so, his music taste and knowledge go beyond the ‘pure’ blues of saying “Done Gone Done Something…”, but he mixes it up with jazzed-up “Bald. Fat. And 45” or a dash of the country of “I’m Gone”. To make things complete, the Blues Rockets match Price note for note and make this such a good listen. All you need is a bawl of munchies and a cold beer…