wait a moment

Jackson Jones Live @ RBL Stourbridge – 30th January

It has taken what feels like forever to get this one together, but finally it happened. We managed to get myself and Jackson Jones in the same room. I reviewed his album ‘It’s About Time’ back in the summer (no, the irony of that title in relation to last night wasn’t lost on me either) and we have been trying to get this sorted pretty much since then but finally here we are.

These are not my usual surroundings for a Thursday evening but you are always being told to try new things so here I am, and importantly the beer is cheap. This ladies and gentlemen is very important.

The first thing that I notice is that the gig has actually started on time which in my experience is practically an act of God. Proceedings are gotten under way by Mitch Jones (Face Of A Stranger) who works his way through a little 15 minute set to get things moving, with a cover of Simple Man by Shinedown being the highlight.

Now we get down to the main event. Jackson Jones takes the stage and for the next 90 minutes or so proceeds to give what is a fine demonstration of country and Americana. Opening track ‘If Love Was A River’ begins with what I think is just a fantastic turn of phrase ‘If love was a river and I was a drowning man…’ only in country right? However the nicest surprise was that Jones sounded exactly as I remember him from the album. It’s nice to know that the voice I remember was not on the end of any production trickery.

Things really kicked into gear with a few Jones originals, ‘Nothing Changes’ and ‘Days of Nothing to Lose’ standing out. I think there is always an extra little edge when a singer performs one of their own songs; they feel it a little more. Obviously that’s not to say that cover versions of songs can’t be performed incredibly well as they are in this case but the originals always feel like they carry a little more emotional weight. The opening section of the set drew nicely to a close as my mind drifted towards the bar and the audience applauded the display from Jones thus far.

The 2nd section of the night kicks off with an acapella version of ‘The Ballad of William Sycamore’ showing a different side to the Black Country song smith. ‘Jack’ was fantastic it’s especially poignant for me, as the man described could easily be quite a few of the members of my family who are no longer with us.

A request from the audience lead to a rendition of ‘7 Spanish Angels’ and as the last note hit those assembled on the cold January expressed their appreciation. A couple more wonderful country tunes went by as we came upon my favourite cover of the night. ‘The Road To Bayamon’ isn’t a song I can claim to have heard of before but it’s a brilliant little song about carnival in Puerto Rico, and definitely one that I will be looking up. And that I believe is the key to a good cover, making you want to dig out the original, and here Jones was right on the money. The Jimmy Buffett tune ‘Margaritaville’ followed continuing the light hearted feel from the previous track. And this is one of the reasons that I love country music, in no other genre apart from maybe hip hop do you get this almost comedy element in the song writing. (Who would have thought you would have seen those genres together in a review!)

The evening had flown by and as the set drew to a close we were treated to a little sing along with a rousing version of the Dylan classic ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.’ Jones still very much in fine voice led the way as the audience by now in the palm of his hand followed. In all honesty Jones had scored points with me by managing to pick one of the few Dylan songs that I actually like, and you can’t ask for any more than that! The clock struck 11 and Jones enthusiastically turned out what was the final song of the night as if it was the opener, to the delight of those in attendance.

It was time for everyone to head home but Jones had definitely lived up to my expectations. His set had flown by the songs executed with the precision of a man on top of his game. The music was pitch-perfect and the audience went along on the country themed ride. It had been a great night, and everyone left in good spirits, with a spring in their step. What more could you ask for?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: