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Joe Bonamassa ROYAL TEA.jpg

It seems at the moment that every boy with a guitar wants to play the Blues and fly the flag for Canada. JW Jones is seemingly no different. But upon first listen, it is glaringly apparent that Mr. Jones is no new kid on the block, with countless albums released and seventeen years since the first, this highly respected singer/songwriter's latest CD, could see him hitting the big time outside his native land.

'High Temperature' boasts an impressive cast of musicians including former bandmates of Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris to name but two, who all add to the overall laid back feel of the album, but never detract from some impressive guitar solos from the main man himself.

It's a collection of twelve songs and one instrumental which seems to be divided into three sections. The first comprises of the opening five songs, and its all out Blues,covering the usual bad luck, heartache and pain themes, and although at various points you do think you've heard this all this before, the hooks of opening track 'Price You Pay' along with the title track, followed by 'Murder In My Heart For The Judge', are all instant winners.

As we go into the middle section of the album, it seems someone has decided that radio friendly songs are needed to garner wider appeal . These come in the form of the more uplifting 'Away Too Long' and 'Same Mistakes', both have some great guitar work and memorable choruses, and along with the lighters in the air tune 'Leave Me Out' and the feel-good 'Midnight Blues' (a possible single?), these could be the songs to bring JW to the masses.

Two thirds gone and onto the final act, and it's back to the standard Blues fair of the first section. Kicking off with 'Out In The Woods' complete with fuzzy vocals and continuing with the Bonamassaesque 'Where Do You Think I Was' (with a great mid section solo) it seems the best songs have been saved for last. We finish off with 'Wham' an all out jam with the whole band obviously enjoying themselves immensely, you can just tell when played live this track could last for hours as everything including the kitchen sink is thrown at it.

With an upcoming seventeen date UK tour starting next month, this album,along with the extensive road work (and possibly a support slot on a bigger tour) could see JW Jones emerge from the pack of similar artists to make his mark on the Blues genre worldwide.

Phil C.

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