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Kissing in 29 Days

The JW-Jones Blues Band

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Album Review

The brief jump blues craze spearheaded by the Brian Setzer Orchestra petered out in the mid-'90s but someone forgot to tell Canadian guitarist JW-Jones. His fourth release is a logical extension of 2004's My Kind of Evil as Jones brings the six-piece Wind-Chill Factor Horns, along with legendary Ray Charles' tenor saxman David "Fathead" Newman, to enliven the proceedings. The result is a nearly-70-minute set of rollicking, generally upbeat brassy blues and bluesy jazz, performed with such gleeful enthusiasm that most listeners won't mind that the songs, the majority of them Jones originals, are a bit on the generic side. Close your eyes and you'd think you are listening to a well-recorded disc from the '50s as Jones tears into zippy instrumentals such as "Parasomnia" with the intensity and joyous gusto of many of the greats in the genre such as Johnny Otis, Roy Milton, early Ike Turner or even Roomful of Blues. Vocally, Jones aims for the smooth style of Harry Connick, Jr., even if his pipes aren't quite up to the task. Still, he's obviously having such a blast that you can overlook some of the imperfections, especially when he lays into a stinging guitar lead. Certainly T-Bone Walker is an influence on his string bending, but so is Albert King and even Michael Bloomfield. Covers of Little Milton (who was due to guest on these sessions, but passed away before the dates), Jimmy McCracklin and Ray Charles (on a spirited "Hallelujah I Love Her So" with Newman guesting) don't distract from Jones' own tunes that dominate the album, and that's a huge compliment. Most impressive is that the album picks up steam as it continues and the closing, uncredited, six-minute instrumental (tacked on to the last track) is as powerful as anything that has come before it, especially when Jones rips a scorching solo. It may not be perfect, but Kissing in 29 Days is so consistently satisfying that even at over an hour, you may find yourself wanting more.

Kissing in 29 Days, The JW-Jones Blues Band
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