J. P. Reali review…June 12, 2019…..





J. P. Reali has been a mainstay on the Washington, D. C., blues scene for some thirty years, and a favorite of ours for many years as well.  There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned road trip to see some old friends and cleanse your soul.  If you hit that road, you’ve got to have some powerful tunes along for the ride, and that’s what you get with the cross-country EP from J. P., “A Highway Cruise.”

On this scintillating five-song set, J. P. teams up with his old friend, New Englander Duke Levine.  Herein, J. P. is on vocals and guitars, and Duke is on electric guitar and some cool mandolin.  The set is literally a musical jaunt across the heart of the USA.  The first stop might as well be 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, with the Sun-splashed, rockabilly rave-up that is “My Baby Loves To Boogie.”  Then, it’s not all that far, just down the road apiece, to old Saint Loo for the Berry-licious “Ballad Of A Burglar,” who’s “tired of stealin’ for my wife,” who tells him daily, “you don’t need a credit card, just don’t forget your .44!”  The Southern rock vibe of the title cut is what this set is all about, as J. P. flatly says, “we open up the doors for all–we don’t need another Berlin Wall.”  The set closes with a hard left turn back down to the Delta, on the Robert Johnson-inspired tale of a man who drinks so much, he’s got “Whiskey For Blood.”

That leaves our favorite.  You can’t live in the DC area for 30 years and not know when something is just not right.  That said, J. P. presents one of the best shots at the current administration we have heard to date,  The acoustic “Blues For Casey” finds our hero with a bad case of “workin’ at the White House blues.”  Herein, it becomes a daily struggle to deal with “all the lies,” stay out of jail, and deal with the daily B S that accompanies “the Clampett clan!!”

J. P. Reali dedicates “A Highway Cruise” to his immigrant grandfather, Michael, who came here in 1922.  J. P. embodies that spirit and lays it all on the line on this excellent “road trip” companion!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.



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