IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING
CARRIED BY SIX–COMMIT A CRIME–IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING–NEW ADDICTION–DON’T GIVE ME NO JIVE–WHISKEY LANE–SOUL’S UP FOR SALE–IF YOU EVER LEAVE–COLD DAY IN HELL–BOTTLE OF WHISKEY
That sound you hear blasting out of the New Jersey area isn’t a Nor’easter, buis t it is the hard-rockin’ sound of the power trio that bill themselves as Slackjaw. These guys have been tearin’ up every venue in Jersey of late, including the venerable Stone Pony. Their latest CD continues their signature, powerful sound with ten strong cuts entitled “It’s Always Something.” John Thompson is on guitar and vocals, with Carl Capodice on bass, and Randy Marinelli on drums and harp.
You gotta love that chicken-scratch guitar funk the fellows lay down in “Commit A Crime,” while the life of a traveling bluesman, “It’s Always Something,”is set over a pounding, freight-train groove. with Carl doing his best Axl Rose impression on some fine mile-a-minute fretwork.
Randy gets in some fine harp as the fellows shift gears a bit for a “love story” of sorts, where “my New Addiction is you!” Love goes sour on a couple of cuts, too. The slow-blues of “Don’t Give Me No Jive” is John’s response to a cheatin’ lover who can’t keep her stories straight, while John comes of age with another heartbreaker, and he vows never to take her back until that mythical “Cold Day In Hell,” featuring some cool time and signature changes, and a killer wah-wah chorus.
We had two favorites, and they bookend the set. Leading off is one of the reasons these guys have such a following, as they weave the tale of a man with some serious anger management issues, but stands up for his beliefs, as he’d “rather be judged by twelve than Carried By Six.” And, the set closes on a helluva unusual note, further showing this band’s versatility. The predominantly-acoustic (save for an amped-up chorus) is, “I’m gonna drink this Bottle Of Whiskey because I can!” With a honky-tonk feel throughout, if they pitched this one to Paisley or some of the “bro-country” players, it would likely sell a million.
Slackjaw is rapidly outgrowing their “hometown heroes” moniker, and are becoming a force on the contemporary blues scene. Enjoy, as did we, “It’s Always Something.” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.