J. J. Vicars review…April 21, 2018…..

J. J. VICARS

IRREVERENT DISSIDENT

ANNIE GATOR RECORDS  AGRCD  106

LOS VATOS IN A–LONG WAY FROM HOME–WANG DANG DOODLE–CAN’T GET ALONG WITH YOU–OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN–STINKY TWINKY–DOWNHOME–DEGUELLO–THINGS I NEED–THAT AIN’T ME–WHAT DO I TELL MY HEART  CD BONUS TRACKS:  THREE TOED MIDGET–STINKY TWINKY (ALT. VERSION)

For the last ten years or so, vocalist and guitar-monster J. J. Vicars has been playing abroad, literally spreading the gospel of his blues all over the planet.  In honor of this Earth Day and Record Store Day, we proudly present our review for his latest release, “Irreverent Dissident.”

This set is unique in several ways, especially in the way it is presented to the listener.  For its full effect, it behooves us to state that it is best enjoyed in the order originally intended, one thru eleven.  As you enjoy this set, you’ll notice J. J.’s many influences, from Muddy to Chuck to Cash to Hank Sr. and on thru to guys like Steve Earle, and it’s all in here.

It is presented in three separate “stages,” if you will, each reflecting a different set of influences.  An ethereal, spaced-out intro, “Los Vatos In A,” opens the proceedings, then the gloes come off.  A modern-day, Berrylicious romp is next, the autobiographical documentary of his European tour, “Long Way From Home.”  Up next, he really throws a mess with a frenetically-paced read of “Wang Dang Doodle,” before giving way to the rockabilly tinge of “Can’t Get Along With You.”

Stage Two opens with a jazzy, slow-blues version of “Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town,” before the instrumentals kick in.  “Stinky Twinky,” (and its alternate version which closes the set) features sax from 90-year old legend Big Jay McNeely, and “Downhome” is full of Double-Troubled bluster.  Stage Three opens with another spacey intro, “Deguello,” and then the blues-meets-Western-swing takes over.  One of our favorites opens that segment, as J. J.takes a humorous and, yes, irreverent look at “Things I Need,” with dobro from Hugh Ashton.  (DJ’s beware…this one ain’t FCC clean!).  He shouts-out to alt-country with Todd Moore’s “It Ain’t Me” and again with Wayne Willem’s “What Do I Tell My Heart.”

One of the bonus tracks served as our other favorite.  A shout-out to guys like Ray Stevens and another “Ir-Reverend,” Billy C. Wirtz,  is the hilarious, banjo-riffic, “Three-Toed Midget named Bridget!”

Fans, this thing rocks and rolls, twangs and strolls, and J. J. Vicars makes it all work.  That makes him one sho’ nuff “Irreverent Dissident!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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