The cover to JW Jones' Seventh Hour—courtesy of Mitch Lenet, Cyrus Hogg, and Test Pilot Prod.—is a way-the-hell-cool concoction that will make the cats from esteemed Hipgnosis outfit gnash their teeth in envy. A combination of futurism blended with nostalgia and the current super-hero film ambiance, it doesn't evoke what the music might be but is so arresting that you can't help but pick it up…and that's always the prime goal of any visual. The music, though, I'll tell you now, is folk blues a la the old Brit assumption of the Chicago school brought back to American shores by way of bedrock roots and soul that might even be called urban tribalism.
Jones is much admired by the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Charlie Musselwhite, Kim Wilson, and others and has released a passel of CDs, six previous to this one, all of which found ample repute and acclaim, with the gent even included in a disc anthology that named him a guitar master along with the likes of Jimmy Page, B.B. King, and monikers you'd know before they're even pronounced. Blues Revue Magazine rightly acclaimed Jones' T-Bone Walker style, and I can't one-up that comparison. Catch his solo in In a Song and elsewhere for direct proof.
With Seventh, get ready for some Appalachian swing as well, as in the Heartbreaker cut, with the rest of the quartet sliding right alongside him—and, man, is there ever some sweet fretwork in that track! Jones handles all vocals and possesses a 50s tone, exactly of the sort you woulda expected of the James Dean generation, so it's not surprising he chose to cover a jumpin' old Roy Orbison tune in So Long I'm Gone. However, if you want to locate a contemporary reference, look back to Kim Wilson's production of his 2004 release, as Jones is very much of a Fabulous Thunderbirds persuasion, with a bit of Stray Cats thrown in here and there.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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