Jon Zeeman review…August 26, 2013…

JON ZEEMAN

DOWN ON MY LUCK

MEMBRANE RECORDS

YOU’RE RIGHT, I’M WRONG–DOWN ON MY LUCK–HANGMAN’S BRIDGE–I LOVE EVERYBODY–WAITIN’ FOR THE STORM–I GOT NEWS–MONEY–GOT THE GUN–CAN’T YOU HEAR ME–SO BAD–BETTER OFF DEAD

     It didn’t take long for a young Jon Zeeman to realize that being a typical “nine-to-fiver” wasn’t for him.  Already trained in classical piano as a teen, he turned his passion for the music of Johnny Winter and B. B. King into his life’s work.  He studied music for two years at Ithaca University before returning to the club scene in NYC and also to concentrate on session work, producing, and songwriting. 

     Now splitting his time between Martha’s Vineyard and West Palm Beach, FL, Jon has just released “Down On My Luck,” featuring ten of Jon’s blues-rock-inspired originals and one cool cover.  Jon is a monster guitarist and vocalist, and is ably backed on this project by George Lilly on drums, Tom Regis and Bob Taylor on keys, and Phil McArthur and Jon’s daughter, Zoe, on the bass.  Jon’s tunes deal with everyday life, love, and just trying to hang on in today’s world.  He’s crafted some good “social commentary” cuts that really hit home, too.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and lets his emotions run free on several songs, too.  Take the opening shuffle, for example.  It takes a real man to admit “You’re Right, I’m Wrong,” but she’s just been gone waay too  long.  He’s also been in enough relationships to see the writing on the wall, too, as evidenced by the slash and slow-burn of a man “just Waitin’ On The Storm.”  And, in “I Got News,” the lover in question is told “I’d rather be alone!”  This one has a funky, danceable groove, too.  “Hangman’s Bridge” has a dark, brooding, voodoo-ish vibe, and Jon closes the set with some very intricate, jazzy lead lines in the tale of a man who feels he’d be “Better Off Dead” than alone. 

     We had three favorites, too.  We are always partial to an artists’ social commentaries, and, on the minor-key blues of the title cut, Jon feels overwhelmed by the sorry state of today’s economy.  In the rapid-fire rock of “Money,” that’s exactly what he needs a ton of to cover his debts!  It features not only some fine guitar, but also some notable acoustic piano as well.  On “Got The Gun,” Jon tells an autobiographical tale of some bad choices regarding lovers during his youth, with some absolutely brilliant guitar work, that proves our theory that every guitar-slingin’ bluesman has a little of Chuck Berry’s DNA in him.

     In one of Jon Zeeman’s website photos, there is a pic of him jammin’ away with the Allman Brothers Band at the legendary Beacon Theater, proving that he has the respect of  his peers.  With a set as good as “Down On My Luck” in his resume’, he’s carved out a sweet niche’ for himself in the world of contemporary blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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