Review: Jon Spear Band – Old Soul

Posted on: Friday, Jul 31, 2015


Jon Spear Band – Old Soul


Jon Spear who takes lead vocals and guitar melds smoothly and sweetly together with friends Dara James; lead guitar and vocals, Andy Burdetsky; bass and John Stubblefield; drums. These are men who have individually seen it, done it and are still happily wearing the tee shirts. They won’t disclose quite how long their respective careers have been going but, here is a clue, Jon was in a band that opened for the Isley Brothers at the Capital Theatre in Port Chester NY when “Twist and Shout” was top-40 hit.

They are from and still reside in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and are active members of The Central Virginia Blues Society. Their debut release, “Old Soul”, is a stunning reminder to all and sundry that skill, practice and years of live performing enables you to shine like a true glittering star without reliance upon vacuous tinsel twinkling internet driven media videos. Across the ten numbers here, is an atmosphere of relaxed confidence, combined with second nature playing all wrapped up in invitingly assured arrangements whether they have forays into soul, blues, country, rock R&B, funk, swing, or even a little salsa, it is all delivered with enticing aplomb.

“Live Music, Is Better,” is an unashamed advert for all live gigs big or small, this rocking, rolling shuffler is driven by a swinging percussion and richly cool picking jazz guitar that slips away to allow in delightful upright bass and harmonica solos that simply sweep you off your feet. The only cover is Jimmy Wilson’s  “Tin Pan Alley,” which is delivered as a sumptuous eight minute floating slowburner, bass and drums gradually draw you in for the building and gently ever soaring slide which is supported by a sweetly rich and  unshakably confident, entwining guitar groove.

The late sixties low furrowed funky feel on “I Can’t Help Myself,” is given a Santana inspired guitar hook that floats over an underplayed but, alluring conga rhythm. The footapping Louis Jordan inspired swinger “The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese,” features a deep rising and rumbling soft bass matched with jaunty rasping harmonica that is underpinned by a wonderful ever swinging and thwacking percussion. Jazz saxophone specialist. On “Old Soul,” Ron Holloway lays down a seriously addictive smokin’and spine tingling atmosphere that enhances the tapestry being woven by the world weary guitar and bass on the moving old head on young shoulders ballad.



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