Listenable Records [Release date 06.04.15]
The blues rock revival shows no sign of slowing and another newcomer worthy of your attention is 25 year-old US based blues rock guitarist Jared James Nichols. Prior to the release of this debut album he has released an EP and toured with some impressive names including Lynyrd Skynyrd and he’s supporting Glenn Hughes on his autumn UK tour.
I mentioned his age as normally that is not an issue, the only issue here is how mature his vocal is sounding more like a seasoned blues singer than the young whippersnapper he is! He pours some emotion into the vocal delivery on ‘All Your Pain’, an album highlight, sounding like a vocalist who has been singing for years and has that ‘lived in’ feel.
His playing is top notch, no overlong blues solos that can put off all but the most ardent blues fan. He ranges from the hard rock of ‘Playin’ For Keeps’ to the more laid back blues picking/slide on ‘Take My Hand’. The acoustic ‘Come In My Kitchen’ rounds the main album off in style. There are two live bonus songs, ‘You Won’t Last’ and ‘Playin’ For Keeps’ lifted from his debut EP.
Of course every good blues rock band needs a good engine and in bassist Erik Sandin and drummer Dennis Holm they have this. Check out ‘Haywire’ whose blues rock stomp reminded me a little of Thunder, whilst on ‘Blackfoot’ there is a hint of Led Zeppelin in the epic feel of the music.
A confident and enjoyable debut album which already sets the standard high for Jared James Nichols, somehow though I think he is more than up to the challenge. Classy blues rock and then some! ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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