Review: Laurence Jones – What’s It Gonna Be

Posted on: Thursday, Apr 9, 2015


Laurence Jones – What’s It Gonna Be
(Ruf Records: RUF 1216)

Laurence Jones is a 23 year-old singer/guitarist from Stratford-upon-Avon, whose standing has risen exponentially over the past few years. What’s It Gonna be is his third album and it provides substantial testament to his songwriting skills, his maturing vocals and his exceptional talent on the guitar. On this album, which comprises nine original compositions and two covers, he is backed by a top class rhythm section that boasts Roger Inniss on bass guitar and Miri Miettinem on drums with additional contributions from keyboard players Jools Grudgings and Lewis Stephens.

The album opens with three heavy-beating blues-rock numbers, the title track, “Don’t Need No Reason” and “”Evil”, the first two of which significantly enhanced by splendidly lyrical guitar solos. “Touch Your Moonlight” bears shades of Canned Heat before Sandi Thom shares admirable lead vocals on “Don’t Look Back”. “All I Need” is a beautifully delivered, medium-paced love song while “Being Alone” brings a somewhat heavier beat back to the proceedings, with more than a suggestion of Free about it.

The two covers on the album provide a very different but hugely effective version of Leadbelly’s “Good Morning Blues” and a similarly distinctive rendition of Mick Ralph’s Bad Company classic “Can’t Get Enough”, with Dana Fuchs adding brilliantly to the vocal presentation. The collection comes to an energetic conclusion with the excellent “Set It Free” and a fine helping of foot-tapping r’n’b in the form of “Stop Moving The House”, complete with tinkling piano and another portion of guitar-based magic.

The UK is blessed with a plethora of highly talented, young blues-rock exponents and Laurence Jones is very definitely in the leading pack of that cohort. This album showcases his considerable abilities, which, combined with his warm personality, guarantees a crowd-pleasing performance wherever he appears.


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