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Lloyd Jones

Highway Bound

Review by Larry Toering

Lloyd Jones puts in an outstanding performance, as usual, on this collection of great tunes. One after another he nails home some of his old favorites along with some originals. This is a massively infectious soulful blues artist who has been kicking around the Northwest with the very best of them  for over 30 years. Here he is joined by Charlie Musselwhite and Curtis Salgado, putting in amazing harmonica performances. Jones has always been an area favorite who came up with the likes of Brown Sugar and the Paul DeLay Band. On Highway Bound he brings it altogether with a grand slam release of traditional and contemporary folk style  blues cuts.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Travelin' On

A solid opener, this one, penned by Jones, really sets up the groove, tempo and overall vibe. It just cruises along, like the title suggests, with a soft and soulful approach.

Careless Love

This is a swampy number with a fantastic vocal, which showcases Jones at his best. The honesty is so pure you can taste it, as he shoots from the heart.

When I'm Done

We get more of the same here, with a touch of humor added. It's soothing the way he plays and sings the notes together. This is beautiful stuff.

Ice Cream Man

This is a run through of the classic, done Jones style. I love it! To top this fabulous number off,  Mr. Musselwhite joins in and provides a screaming harmonica solo, like only he can. I have to rate this as one of the best versions I've ever heard... to my willing astonishment.

Broke Down Engine

A lower tempo carries this one, with some excellent acoustic runs and a bit of slapping. It’s not a tune I'm familiar with but will be returning to time and again.

Last Fair Deal Gone Down

Jones applies his signature to the Robert Johnson classic, and like everything else here, he does it all the justice it deserves. The sharp picking packs just the punch needed to make his own rendition  a reality.

Southbound Train

This is a slower tune with a brokenhearted story, sung from a train station stop. It’s one of the several opportunities to provoke the thinking listener, and one of the best of such deliveries found on the disc.

No More Crying

This is another Jones original, and although there is no mistaking him, a grand effort to blend in with the surrounding tracks is one of the greatest achievements here.

Don't Want Me Baby

More soul is well expressed on this sweet little number with more fabulous picking, humor and grit.

Key To The Highway

Things go up a notch and just in time, as Jones carries on about the only key he needs. The guitar lines jump about in bursts of excitement, especially toward the end, and it contains some fantastic flurries.

You Better

Another collaborated effort gets the job done. This is another great little tune with plenty of killer guitar work.

Cry For Me Baby

This is one of several tracks I revisit. Somehow it's one of my favorites here. I love the galloping guitar licks. It’s a sizzling hit!

Make Me A Pallet On The Floor

The title alone here had me laughing before I even heard it, and the humor indeed was intact. It's a sad number nevertheless, because no place to sleep is never anything to laugh about.

Good Night Irene

This is a lovely little piece of evening ear candy, and another track I tend to revisit. What a moving vocal is featured here!

Good Morning Little School Girl

Here we are treated to a great version of the Sonny Boy Williamson classic, again done in Jones style. He really knows how to put his own stamp on things without changing a tune beyond recognition. This is just another track that seems tailor made for him.

Lazybones

This is quite different from anything here, and it's a refreshing way to close the disc. Harmonica is provided here by the great Salgado, to add to the folk heavy blues to be found throughout this fine recording.

 
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