Jon Spear Band review…April 20, 2015…

JON SPEAR BAND

OLD SOUL

SELF-RELEASED

I CAN’T HELP MYSELF–DEVIL’S HIGHWAY–THE SECOND MOUSE GETS THE CHEESE–OLD SOUL–I LOVE MY SKIN–FOREVER HOME–MEAN MEAN WOMAN–PAID IN FULL–LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER–TIN PAN ALLEY

The Jon Spear Band hails from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and all the players are active in the Central Virginia Blues Society.  Their latest release, “Old Soul,” is a fine set of predominantly original tunes that combine elements of blues, rock, and soul into one great listen!  The lyrics are witty, they make you think, and listeners can easily relate to their content.

Jon is on guitar, Andy Burdetsky is on bass, John Stubblefield is on drums, and the young ‘un of the group is the phenomenal Dara James, on guitar, harp, and vocals, with a huge tone and sound well-beyond his youth.  In fact, he qualifies as one of the characters in the title cut, an “Old Soul who conveys that youthful passion with a mature feel.  This song also features a fine sax solo from Ron Halloway.  “I Love My Skin” is a slide guitar-fueled story of loving yourself no matter what others may think.  “Mean Mean Woman” is a Latin-influenced shot of blues-rock that tells the story of a man drawn to a lover that he knows is no good, but he just can’t leave her alone.  “Live Music Is Better” takes a humorous look at the pros and cons of recorded music versus a show at a club, because, there you can “hear the mistakes!”  They close the set with an eight-minute slow-jam of “Tin Pan Alley,” that “roughest place in town,” with Dara on vocals with his guitar blazing away.

We had two favorites, too.  Dara’s harp and dobro add to the good-time feel of a cute story as told thru the eyes of a dog about to be adopted and taken to his “Forever Home.”  And, a trip down the dark, brooding “Devil’s Highway” has a surprise ending, and is complete with that good ole “gypsy woman” and her “magic powder,” and a wrasslin’ match with ol’ Beelzebub himself!

The Jon Spear Band bring excellent musicianship, strong lyrics, and a rising star in young Dara James.  “Old Soul” is a fine debut from some of Virginia’s finest!  Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow.

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