Review: Jake Lear – Diamonds And Stones

Posted on: Monday, Dec 17, 2012

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Jake Lear – Diamonds And Stones

(self-produced)

Originally from Vermont, Jake now spends most of his time between Long Island and Memphis, as it was in Memphis that he learnt and continues to ply his trade outside of The Peoples Pool Hall on Beale Street on Friday and Saturday nights, that have been taking place now for seven months of the year, for over three years; he is accompanied by the rest of his band who are; Roy Cunningham on drums and Carlos Arias on bass.

Although the band at first hearing come across as a standard blues based power trio, all dark murky sound and treacly guitars; they, as you listen more, display their freely swinging intricate ‘fresh as lettuce’  ringing guitar tones, Roy’s menacing, constant and threatening skin bashing firmly lays out the path, while Carlos delivers a broadly prowling and leering bass, on top of all this Jake well and truly vigorously shakes and wrings his guitar and strings, from shiny, clean, clear raindrops to powerful and deadly lead spitting riffing malice. Jake has a vocal delivery that has a distinctly Dylan like approach.

This very evident on the dark and murky “Strange Things,” Jake forces his voice over heavy and gloomy guitar work and deliberately leaden drum work. On numbers such as; “Work, Work, Work,” a footapping spring in the step fifties bopping guitar matches energetic drumming while a happy slapping bass brings it all dancingly on home. The languid, echoing bluesy guitar on “I See A Train Coming,” contains an almost satisfying jovial slowburning meandering pace.

Whereas “Boogie Time,” readily entices you on to the dance floor with its crisp, clear, bopping and swinging, twisting string ringing guitar, that manfully keeps pace with the energetic and pulsating pummelling drums. “Diamonds and Stones,” features a stunningly attractive, striking and ringing fuzz guitar that fights its way through to the surface of an absorbing but seemingly languid blues slowburner. Jake pays his respects to John Lee Hooker with a highly commendable walking blues rendition of “Jack O’Diamonds,” a pleasant ambling ear ringing experience.

A very fine album indeed!

BRIAN HARMAN

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