JIM GUSTIN AND TRUTH JONES
HALF PAST TEN–LIVE WITH YOURSELF–MEMPHIS–YOU KNOW ME TOO WELL–I LOVE WHAT I GOT–BIG HEARTED WOMAN–CRAZY LITTLE WOMAN–I AIN’T PLAYING–SLIPPING AWAY–RIGHT TIME FOR GOODBYE
Jim Gustin is a deep-voiced blues singer, guitarist, and composer from Santa Clarita, CA, and has been gigging in and around the Los Angeles area for some thirty years. His performing partner is Truth Jones, (real name: Jeri Goldenhar), who, at over six feet in stature, possesses an equally-impressive voice, giving them a “dyno-mite” presence as a duo. Their latest album is “Memphis,” ten originals that prove to be a clever mix of various genres’, all staying true to their blues roots. Nowhere is that ideal more on display than in the leadoff cut, “when it’s half-past two, baby where are you,” you know things are ’bout to crash in a classic kiss-off song, “Half Past Ten.”
The whole group makes clever use of the second-line rhythm pattern throughout this set, too. First up is Truth on the lead vocal over Jim’s slide as she tells the tale of a love affair beyond repair, where the best thing you can do is “Live With Yourself.” Jim takes the lead vocal as that rhythm pattern rides his story of a man counting his blessings, ’cause “I Love What I Got.” The third example of that teasing rhythm is a dance-floor burner, too. “Crazy Little Woman” rocks all over the place, ’cause “she loves me ’till the break of day!”
We had two favorites, too. The title cut finds someone asking Jim “what do you know about the blues, living in the sunshine of L. A.?” His answer?–“I’ve never been to Memphis, but everybody gets the blues, no matter where you’re from!” The set closes on a dazzlingly-powerful note. Jim and Truth duet as the tortured lovers who realize that “if it’s not the right time to say I love you, then it’s The Right Time for goodbye.”
Jim Gustin and Truth Jones each have their own distinctive styles, and, when combined, indeed make the whole greater than the sum of the parts! See for yourself as you take a little ride down to “Memphis.” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.