Over the last few months Red Guitar Music has received a plethora of releases that we have been unable to give a full review due to the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day. With this in mind we thought an occasional round up of a few quality releases that you might have missed would be in order. So without further delay here are album reviews for Peter Blachley, Pi Jacobs and Brian Ashley Jones.
Peter Blachley – Nevada Sky.
Peter Blachley has worked in the music business for many years as a marketing executive at Capitol / EMI / Picture Music International working with Duran Duran, The Stray Cats and George Thorogood etc. The Vietnam vet has in recent years reinvented himself as a gallery owner, co-finding the fine art music photography gallery the Morrison Hotel Gallery with partners Richard Horowitz and iconic photographer Henry Diltz. On his debut album ‘Nevada Sky’ Peter Blachley does a fine job as he merges a traditional Nashville sound with the influential songwriters of the late 60’s / early 70’s. Opener ‘Big Old Train’ sounds exactly like the title suggests it should and sets the scene that Blachley expands on over the ten songs here. Personal favourites include ‘Love is Eternal’ which features some nice acapella vocals while ‘Like Music Like Fire’ injects a soulful chopping guitar into the mix reminiscent of a Stax record but ‘Soho Sunday Morning’ wins in the end by a short head with it’s fine acoustic guitar / mandolin interplay. ‘Nevada Sky’ is an album that is very worthy of your time.
For more info and / or to purchase the album on vinyl www.peterblachley.com
Pi Jacobs – Hi-Rise Ranch
Singer songwriter Pi Jacobs recently released a new 6 track CD EP on her That Crazy Chick label. Jacobs is one of those artists with a flourishing career built on extensive roadwork that dates back to her debut release in 2001. Recently music placement in film, TV shows and advertising, most notably on the MTV show ‘The Real World’ has helped to spread the word.
This new EP, a natural sequel to her 2013 release ‘Urbanicana’ continues to mine what she refers to as an ‘Americana bluesy rock thing’ which sums things up nicely. Jacobs is again working with producer Eugene Toale (Kanye West) and an impressive band that includes a great rhythm section of drummer Fredo Ortiz (Beastie Boys) and Jaime Bishop (Francis Dunnery) bass. Jacobs takes care of electric, acoustic and bass guitar.
The impressive opening one-two punch of the sultry ‘Want To Want To’ and ‘Starting Now’ where the protagonist has been in such a terrible situation that it requires them to reassess their life and make a new start. Both songs benefit from a simple, warm production with plenty of bottom end that allows the, nicely arranged, backing vocals to shine which forms a musical template for the six tracks offered here. Jacobs has a fine voice with a good range that she chooses to use sparingly dependent on the song which works well especially on the melancholy ‘The Train’. The one cover ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ originally written by Anne L. Bredon but popularised by Led Zeppelin is a gem as it retains the passion inherent in the song but delivers a more concise version of the classic tune. Pi Jacobs has delivered a fine album / EP on which she feels she has found her voice which bodes well for the future.
For more info: www.pijacobs.com
Brian Ashley Jones – Out Of The City
Originally from South Carolina Brian Ashley Jones relocated to East Nashville in 2002. ‘Out Of The City’ is his third album of original material and he demonstrates an ability to be equally as ease with a slow blues as he is an old school country lick. You would be forgiven for thinking that soul, blues and country might not mix but they blend seamlessly here as Jones embraces the musical influences of his youth.
Opening with ‘See You Wasting Time’ the ability of Jones the guitarist is hard to ignore. The interplay between his guitar, the harmonica of Ian Walker and flourishes of B3 courtesy of Ike Stubblefield works beautifully and reminded me of latter day Little Feat. Jones switches down a gear for ‘Fetch A Pail’ a soulful duet with Jonell Mosser that again features a nice guitar solo. The choice of instrumentation especially the use of Hammond B3 really does add a soul element to the songs that makes for a smooth enjoyable listen. ‘Meet Me In The River’ goes for a slow blues vibe with backing vocals from Suzi Ragsdale that introduce a gospel element alongside the silky smooth blues guitar fills from Jones. Ragsdale also adds vocals to ‘Carolina’s Dream’ an odd from Jones to his old stomping grounds that showcases the fiddle playing of Gary Oleyar.
Brian Ashley Jones has released an album that is an excellent showcase for his triple threat skills as a singer, songwriter and guitarist.
For more info: www.brianashleyjones.com