Review: Lloyd Jones – Highway Bound

Posted on: Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

“Highway Bound”
(Underworld Records: UND0019)

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Lloyd Jones is a genuine old-fashioned country bluesman with a knack for interpreting classic tunes from the likes of Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell and Mississippi John Hurt . . . on “Highway Bound” delivered with his lived-in warm voice and nice fingerpicked guitar work . . . a 16-song collection containing just three originals.

Mostly he is alone, but harmonica aces Charlie Musselwhite – a long-time friend – and Curtis Salgado appear on a track apiece – Jones occasionally foresakes the acoustic guitar for some steelbodied slide and also goes electric with a Danelectro on a couple of tracks, indeed they are two of the best – a jaunty “Last Fair Deal Gone Down”, the Robert Johnson classic; and also laying down a boogie on “Cry For Me Baby”, a Mel London song always associated with Elmore James.

John Brim’s “Ice Cream Man” flows beautifully, with Charlie Musselwhite’s sweet harmonica weaving in and out of the saucy lyrics on this copper-bottomed blues chestnut and Lloyd Jones’s driving guitar.  The other harmonica guest spot, from Curtis Salgado ends the album – a lovely swinging Hoagy Carmichael song, “Lazy Bones”, and is another treat here.

Elsewhere he slows Big Bill Broonzy’s “Southbound Train” right down to a slow blues; and turns his attention to another Broonzy gem in the timeless “Key To The Highway”, with nice fingerpicked acoustic guitar solos; Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Good Morning Little School Girl” sees more of his fine guitar picking and another great vocal.

To sum up, a most enjoyable release from a fine musician who is ‘keeping it real’ in his love of classic ‘old time’ blues, and more power to him for that!


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