Wednesday, August 28, 2019

J.P. Soars Hits New Heights On "Let Go Of The Reigns"

J.P. Soars has a huge advantage over everyone else. His voice is custom made for the blues. The swampy drawl is somewhere in the neighborhood of the late Dr. John or Dennis Locorriere from the 70's band Dr. Hook. The blues is far more believable if it's delivered by a voice like this.

On "Let Go Of The Reins", Mr. Soars has decided to put his homemade cigar box guitars to good use, employing some new twists and turns into his grizzled, contemporary blues rock sound. "Been Down So Long" is a made for jam band opener with lots of Hammond B and a lyric that sets the tone for the rest of the album. Soars covers the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' classic "If You Want To Want To Get To Heaven" with a swamped up reading delivered with fuzzy guitar tones and a blistering melodic solo.

"Freddy King Thing" is a homage that picks up where the first two tracks left off. The great Tab Benoit helped produce this album and the New Orleans vibe is wrapped into each groove. "Let Go of The Reins" has a darker rock feel but retains a funkiness that is present for the entire album. "Crows Nest" is a fun instrumental jam that highlights Soars ability to weave his guitar into all kinds of sonic shapes."Lonely Fire" takes a left turn with some well done acoustic guitar and a slight touch of Latin Jazz. A really nice surprise.

"Have Mercy On My Soul" returns us back to the swamp and features J.P.'s guitar speaking to us in classic familiar tones. "Let It Ride" takes another left turn with a nod to country and roots music but still compatible with the theme of this record. "Minor Blues" is another jazzy flavored instrumental with Soars painting a soothing picture with his band of blues renegades. "Time To Be Done" brings the party back into focus even though it's last call as it's theme. Definitely one of the more accessible tracks for radio formats who should be playing this Grammy contender.

The album concludes with "Old Silver Bridge", a song which showcases Soars' guitar work. Roots rock, blues and soul. This album is another higher step on J.P.'s climb on the musical ladder. For fans of a genre that is helping keep real music alive, this is a must have collection.


  1. Great call on those vocal comparisons, and I'm really loving those
    driving rhythms and that excellent guitar work. A nice palate cleanser
    after mistakenly catching too much of coverage of those lousy MTV 'Awards' from the other night.

  2. Not a problem, as you are one of the few sane folks online trying to
    keep the real music going. And here's another unsolicited tip for any
    Saturday night where you might for yourself with some YOU time: Toronto
    Jazz Radio Station 91.1 has a five hour blues show called "BluesFM" hosted by the incredible Danny Marks (7 P.M. to midnight E.S.T. and it can be accessed online from anywhere in the world. A good mixture of
    both old and new blues and blues rock is always on offer. Highly