Jason Robert review…January 27, 2019….

JASON ROBERT

THE DEATH OF STONE STANLEY

SOMEDAY–SOUL OF A MAN–ALL I NEED–MR. BELL–MOONSHINER–YOU GOTTA MOVE–GOOD VIBES–SAT AROUND–NEVER GONNA DIE–JOHN THE REVELATOR–HEREAFTER–WOKE UP THIS MORNING

Jason Robert hails from Hesperia, CA, in San Bernadino County.  This area has been compared to the Old West, and Jason’s latest release, “The Death Of Stone Stanley,” embodies that region, as Jason combines blues, folk, Americana and even gospel into a style he refers to as “Mudstomp,” which, after repeated listenings, we likened to a grungier, more reverb-oriented amalgam of the music of the Hill Country in North Mississippi.  As one listens, one can also sense that “lost” or “soul-searching” quality in his vocals.  (Think Muddy in “Two Trains Runnin’ or Son House in “Death Letter Blues.”).  Those vocals and powerful guitar sounds bring this material into sharp focus, beginning with “Someday,” where one day “I’ll meet my Redeemer face to face where I belong.” “All I Need” takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the divisiveness rampant in today’s society, as Jason looks at focusing on the simpler aspects of life.  “Good Vibes” is another of Jason’s originals that also seeks enjoyment from simple pleasures, by “lettin’ the rough side drag, it just might smooth out.”  This one follows a cool, reggae backbeat, too.

Our favorites tho, were the gospel-themed cuts from the pre-WWII masters, and how Jason worked them into the overall concept of this album.  First up is Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul Of A Man,” likening a man’s soul to “his mind,” as well as “a burnin’ light.”  “Woke Up This Morning” is a nod to Mississippi Fred McDowell and closes “The Death Of Stone Stanley,” as our hero awakens on that distant shore, “with my mind straight on Jesus!”  And, a set such as this would not be complete without perhaps Blind Willie Johnson’s most famous piece, the story of  Christ and his twelve Apostles, “three he led away,” the powerful “John The Revelator.”

Jason Robert’s talent as a composer, guitarist, and vocalist is undeniable.  He has taken the premise of Delta blues and infused it with a sound that is rough, raw, and, indeed, unique.  His originals are created in the style of the past masters, and, “The Death Of Stone Stanley” is a crowning achievement!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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