Jason King is a blues guitarist of a different order. He doesn't just play, he talks through his axe, with a vocabulary more conversational than I've heard in a long time. Not only that, but the guy changes up modes and tempo with consummate ease, sliding from one style to another, and, half the time, you don't even know it until he's on to the next one. Then there's the offbeat homage to Hendrix in Driftin', where King gets his psychedelic jones on, stretching Jimi's gig like a rubber band, dipping into the 70s.
Hardly an aspect of the genre is missed in this fretbender's hands. Not only has he been woodshedding, the guy's also had his ears to the planks and figured it all out, as in the loungey Cryin' Shame, smooth and narcotic, reflective and soulful...and that guitar dancing all the way through it in a long episodic solo: yow! The title cut then blends Duane Allman with Jimi for a Allman Bros flavored riff or two, glancing on Dickey Betts for good measure, dipping from Chicago down to Alabama. Next on the menu is an SRV shuffle with the jivin' SoulShaker, jump blues with a spacey mid-section a la Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush.
Blue Skies & Black Shoes is saturated with 60s / 70s intelligence sprinting straight out of the 50s, bridging what the black cats were doing when the white boys got hip to the jive and dove in. No end of Albert King, Albert Collins, and the more electrified bad boys who caught everyone's tail on fire can be found in Jason King's work, backed by a buncha hep cats shakin' the sixes (especially catch Freddie Mills' harmonica sittin' in), dressed down to the nines, and headin' out for a Friday night roust in the North Urban 40.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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