Review: Jack Blackman – self-titled

Posted on: Saturday, Oct 5, 2013

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Jack Blackman – self-titled

(self-release)

Here’s a most enjoyable second full-length release from 19 years old acoustic guitarist Jack Blackman, with this self-titled album straddling both folk and blues, with the young man seemingly influenced by a whole host of musicians, such as the great British folk blues giants like John Renbourn, Bert Jansch and Davy Graham, whilst also having a distinctive Delta blues take on some songs, inspired by the classic Mississippi bluesmen.

This new release was recorded at the studios of Leeds College of Music, where he is currently studying, and was recorded and mixed by Ally Jowett – the nine songs are all Blackman originals and highlight his fine writing and lovely guitar playing – both fingerpicked and slide.

Highlights here are the opening “Moving Train” – very folky indeed with his aforementioned intricate guitar playing and a voice that perhaps belies his tender years; the gritty blues of “Whisky Grave” is firmly in the Delta blues field with some tasteful slide work; the delicate “Charles Walton Blues”, based on a witchcraft murder in Warwickshire, is a standout, with a classic British folk feel to it, reminiscent to the likes of the great Martin Simpson’s work.

Blackman ‘doffs his cap’ to the late blues great “Honeyboy Edwards”, on a song with that title, again featuring nicely picked acoustic guitar and some electric slide; the closing “Buddy Holly’s Ghost” is also a treat, and a fitting close to an album that shows great promise.

Definitely a young man to watch out for . . . both for fans of blues and folk, with an ear for nicely written and performed original songs.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.jackblackman.com

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