Electric Blues
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LA Jones & The Blues Messengers
Live At The Dead Goat Saloon

Shattered 1998
Review Published December 15, 1999
Artist Spotlite on LA Jones & The Blues Messengers

Track Listing
  1. I'm A Loner
  2. She Can't Not Be Satisfied
  3. Mr. Fix-It
  4. Stranded
  5. Pebble In The Sky
  6. Stop Now
  7. Long Distance Love
EB Rating - 4.5
Right-click to DL songs

    According to the biography at their website, L.A. Jones & the Blues Messengers have been around for quite a while, playing the blues in roadhouses 20 years or so. In that time they've produced ten or so independent discs, and in 1998 released their first commercially distributed CD, Live at the Dead Goat Saloon. Why it took so long for them to get a CD out into commercial circulation is hard to figure, but I for one am glad they finally got it done. This is your basic, down to business three piece band of guitar, bass and drums. While there are only 7 songs in the set list, the total time for the CD runs over 56 minutes. This obviously means there are some long songs, but L.A. keeps things interesting the vast majority of the time.
    There is plenty of great blues on this CD. L.A. Jones is quite a study of blues guitar. He plays passages in a wide variety of styles from subtle to frantic, often borrowing from several classic masters, with impressive dexterity and accuracy. Muddy Waters, Albert King, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy all come easily to mind as I listen to this CD.
    There are three straight up blues numbers, Mr. Fix-It, Pebble In The Sky, and Long Distance Love. I'm A Loner and Stop Now are shuffles, and She Can't Not Be Satisfied is kind of a blend of swing/rockabilly. Stranded, my favorite song on the CD, is reminiscent of Buddy Guy on one of his run-away tirades, and would surely make Buddy proud. In the set closer, Long Distance Love, L.A. pays tribute to Albert King. There's no doubt about it, he has Albert's extreme bends, subtle nuances and tone down pat.
    While I have made a point of L.A. Jones' ability to play in the style of others, I don't mean to imply he's merely copying them. He interjects plenty of his own unique stylings, while blending all these sounds together to produce some mighty fine blues. And L.A. skills don't stop on the fretboard. He wrote all the songs in this set except one.
    I'll close with one more "no doubt about it". If you are a fan of electric blues guitar, this CD is a must have for your collection.
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