WHAT’S IT GONNA BE
RUF RECORDS 1216
WHAT’S IT GONNA BE–DON’T NEED NO REASON–EVIL–TOUCH YOUR MOONLIGHT–DON’T LOOK BACK (FEAT. SANDI THOM)–ALL I NEED–BEING ALONE–GOOD MORNING BLUES–CAN’T GET ENOUGH (FEAT. DANA FUCHS)–SET IT FREE–STOP MOVING THE HOUSE
Britain’s Laurence Jones has done a lot already in his blues career, for such a young man. In 2014, he toured the world as part of the Ruf Records Blues Caravan, and, this past June, at age 23, joined luminaries such as Jools Holland, Van Morrison, Eric Burdon and many others at the Royal Albert Hall in a tribute to Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter. And, he found the time to write nine of the eleven cuts that comprise his latest Ruf CD, “What’s It Gonna Be.” A fine example of “power trio” blues-rock, Laurence and his blistering guitar paint sonic portraits of his hopes, dreams, fears, and desires thru the eyes of a young man already compared to Clapton and Buddy Guy.
The set leads off with the power-chord crunch of the title cut, a tune described by Laurence as a tribute to the “unknowns” in his life and things the future holds. “Touch Your Moonlight” and “All I Need” are brimming with the exuberance of youth and “time for me to play!” “Don’t Need No Reason” is a cold shot of roadhouse blues, as young Mr. Jones tells a lover that “I don’t need to be told what to do!” It features a fiery, lengthy solo at the bridge. “Good Morning Blues” is Laurence’s stompin’ ode to Lead Belly, with snippets from the original as an intro. And, the set closes on a humorous note, with a nod to SRV-styled shuffles, telling the tale of a man who’s had so much to drink he can’t find his way home, so “Stop Moving The House!”
We had two favorites, too. Dana Fuchs adds her incendiary vocals on a duet with Laurence on Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough.” And, perhaps the set’s most powerful piece is another duet, this one with Scottish lass Sandi Thom on “Don’t Look Back,” as Laurence paints a cautionary tale of not living in the past and remaining positive in life.
Laurence Jones also suffers from Crohn’s Disease, and has graciously donated time and money to “Crohn’s And Colitis UK” to combat this malady. His triple-threat talents–his guitar wizardry, singing, and composing–are undeniable, and “What’s It Gonna Be” is a “must-hear!” Until next time….Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.