J.P. Soars review…August 17, 2019….

J. P. SOARS

LET GO OF THE REINS

WHISKEY BAYOU RECORDS   WSK 1003

BEEN DOWN SO LONG–IF YOU WANNA GET TO HEAVEN–FREDDIE KING THING–LET GO OF THE REINS–CROWS NEST–LONELY FIRE–HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL–LET IT RIDE–MINOR BLUES–TIME TO BE DONE–OLD SILVER BRIDGE

J. P. Soars has been a force in contemporary blues since his two-way victory in the 2009 IBC’s in Memphis—the Band competition, with his group, The Red Hots, plus his Albert King Flying V Award for Best Guitarist throughout the week-long competition.  In the ensuing ten years, he has played numerous festivals and even the Legendary Rhythm And Blues Cruise.  His good friend Tab Benoit has been a part of many of these gigs, and, over a week’s session at Tab’s Whiskey Bayou Studios in Houma, Louisiana, , J. P. laid down the seven originals and four covers that make up “Let Go Of The Reins.”  Tab produced the set, and most of the originals were composed on the spot during the loose, jam-oriented atmosphere created in-studio.  J. P. is on guitars, Chris Peet is on bass, Tillis Verdin is on B-3, and Tab is on drums and pedal steel!

Our gravelly-voiced hero opens the set with a true bluesman’s tale, “Been Down So Long, bein’ down don’t worry me.”  The title cut is a swampadelic cautionary tale, where J. P. teaches a valuable life lesson–“you don’t get somethin’ for nothin,” and, sometimes, you just gotta “Let Go Of The Reins.”  The Hooker-esque boogie of “Lord Have Mercy On My Soul” reminds us that “the Devil will trick you every time,” and served as one of our favorites.  Django’s “Minor Blues” and J. P.’s original, “Crows Nest,” show the fun these guys had with a jammin’ instrumental, and our other favorite was one of the set’s covers.  Everybody has a rockin’ good time on the guitar-driven boogie of the Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s classic, “If You Wanna Get To Heaven, you got to raise a little Hell!”

Y’all know that every time J. P. Soars and Tab Benoit get involved, it’s gon’ be one helluva jam.  And, after you listen to this set, you’ll be impressed with Tab, one sho’ nuff funky drummer!  So, pour yourself a drink, “Let Go Of The Reins,” and party offa these great down-home blues!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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