Jeremiah Johnson review…August 15, 2018….

JEREMIAH JOHNSON

STRAITJACKET

RUF RECORDS 1261

STRAITJACKET–GETTING TIRED–BLUES IN HER EYES–KEEP ON SAILING–BELIEVE IN AMERICA–KING AND QUEEN–DIRTY MIND–9TH AND RUSSELL–OLD SCHOOL–BONNEVILLE SHUFFLE–HOLD MY HAND–ROCK AND ROLL MUSIC TO THE WORLD

Jeremiah Johnson is a product of the blues hotbed that is St. Louis, MO.  This young guitar slinger cut his teeth in the rough-and-tumble 9TH and Russell neighborhood, before moving to Houston and winning their Blues Challenge three straight years.  Eventually returning home, he has solidified himself as a major force in contemporary blues, and his latest set for Ruf with production from the right honorable Mike Zito, is entitled “Straitjacket.”  This set is eleven originals and one splendiferous cover that conveys the message Jeremiah wants us to hear–some powerful blues-rock with a heavy shot of soul.  Tom Maloney is on bass, Benet Schaeffer is on drums, and Frank Bauer is on sax.  His contributions to this set are great, and he is as important to this album  as much as Eddie Shaw with Howlin’ Wolf, and Steve Berlin with Los Lobos.

Leading off is the biting title cut, about women one should avoid at all cost.  We all know ’em–“where you going–who are you with–did you smoke?”   They’re the kind that, literally, want to put a “Straitjacket” on you!  Philosophical advice to us all plays out over a riff that sounds as if “Voodoo Chile” and “Spoonful” had a head-on collision, the stop-time funk of “Gettin’ tired of gettin’ old, gettin’ old gettin’ tired!”  Frank is featured on a killer sax break, just like Eddie woulda done!  Jeremiah doesn’t try to wax politically on “Believe In America,” he just “still believes in our country, and I think you do, too.”  The aforementioned “9TH And Russell” spells out Jeremiah’s beginnings, and he preaches some sho’ nuff fine Southern rock in the story of the changes his life has undergone, and how he has not only survived, but thrived.

There’s no question as to our favorite, as old-school as we are. With the 49TH anniversary of Woodstock later this week, Jeremiah and Zito do a positively ass-kickin’ version of Alvin Lee’s “Rock And Roll Music To The World,” where you always “give peace a chance–get up and dance!”  The dueling guitars in this one are what makes this set so much fun!

Jeremiah Johnson has carved out a sweet niche’ for himself in today’s contemporary playground altho it hasn’t all been pretty.  His soul has remained true to his blues roots, and, if you don’t dig “Straitjacket,” you must have that proverbial hole in your soul!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: