The JW-Jones Blues Band
Kissing In 29 Days
This month's Surprise feature highlights CDs
from a pair of Canadian artists.
This compassionate CD, The Story (Norton
Records), from Matt Minglewood, has already won many accolades,
e.g., East Coast Music Award winner for Blues Recording of the Year.
Does it really need another positive review?
because this acoustic album comes with depth and awareness. Although
acoustic, there is lots of musical accompaniment (bass, sax, drums,
harmonica, cello, and mandolin). Some may consider it an unplugged
album. It is a stark departure from the usual Minglewood blues/rock.
Hailing from North Sydney, Cape Breton Island, “down east” culture
exudes from Minglewood’s story-telling tunes. Since the late ’70s/early
’80s, when he quickly rose to the top of Canadian blues/rock with a
string of successful albums, Minglewood has been a Canadian musical
Are you ready for another chapter in a career that
already reads like a quintessential novel? Matt Minglewood has drifted
through numerous genres throughout his 40 year career. His most potent
power may have been saved until now. Flavoured with a sense of Canadiana,
Minglewood performs vocals, guitars, piano, and organ and abandons his
guitar god status on The Story. At times the music sounds
influenced by country and western. Primarily, the focus is on
story-telling songs and evocative lyrics. The 12 Minglewood original
songs, along with a remake of the traditional "Patriot Game," are about
expressing life experiences. From time to time, you’ll have a smile on
your face as you listen to these warm, fond memories. The melodies and
lyrics are all very moving. Most songs are laid back, but they are all
catchy. This isn’t boring acoustic music which requires a music
appreciation course to value it.
The tales begin with the melancholic "Ain’t Nothing
Pretty," which details dirty pictures painted by blues. With a simple
and repetitive rhythm, "Jealous Man" will have your foot stomping. Here,
the gentle yet firm guitars capture the urgency of the song. With a tip
of the hat to Jerry Lee Lewis and others ’50s rockers, "Eight Good
Reasons" is honky tonk music with Minglewood’s lower register absolutely
rumbling on piano. Alex Dean’s sax gives "The Price of Love" a steamy
feel. "Peter and Joy" demonstrates the flexibility of Minglewood’s
powerful voice as does the beautiful title track whose lyrics will move
you to tears. Like a Broadway production, Minglewood can tell a story
while transforming it into a show.
Except for those who have seen Minglewood perform
The Story live, this album reveals his hidden acoustic brilliance.
It also has the innate ability to speak to you and guide you like a best
friend. If there ever was a Canadian folk/rock hero, this CD proves Matt
Minglewood is worthy of the title.
--- Tim Holek
JW-Jones Blues Band, 2005
winners of the Maple Blues Electric Act of the Year Award (the Canadian
version of the Handy Awards….sorry, they’ll always be the Handys to me)
has previously released three albums of their jazzy jump blues for the
Northern Blues label, each disc surpassing its predecessor. Their latest
effort for the label, Kissing In 29 Days, continues that trend
with ease. Comprised of 14 tracks, 11 originals and three covers,
there’s plenty of Jones’ excellent guitar work here. Jones, all of
25 years of age, shows traces of T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown, and
Albert King in his playing, and his performances on this disc will
verify his standing as one of Canada’s top guitarists. In addition, his
vocal style, which has always been a pretty solid fit with the style he
plays, has improved this time around; as he sounds more relaxed and
The covers include
Jones’ take on the immortal Ray Charles’ classic, “Hallelujah I Love Her
So,” a bold selection which ends up being one of the best vocal
performances on the disc, with a great assist from guest David “Fathead”
Newman’s tenor sax. “Hey Girl,” a nice tribute to Little Milton Campbell
(who passed away a month before he was slated to make an appearance on
the album), and Jimmy McCracklin’s “Pretty Little Sweet Thing,” are the
other two covers. As far as the originals go, they are all well done,
and Jones’ band, with the Wind-Chill Factor Horns and the ever-present
Brian James on tenor sax, is smoking throughout.
include “All My Money,” “I Don’t Want To Hear,” the jumping instrumental
“Parasomnia,” the Jimmy Reed tribute “Got Me Chasin’,” and the closer,
“Here She Comes,” with another strong sax break from Newman. Also
produced by Jones, this is clearly his best effort yet and it will be a
challenge for blues fans to sit still while listening to this one.
--- Graham Clarke