So when the Nate Jones Band's EP crossed my desk, I was more than ready. No synthesizers here, or at least not synthesizers for the sake of synthesizers. No dance music for the sake of dance. Just good solid rock the way it was once played--- for the music and for the song. Not to sound like anything or anybody. Mainstream rock, sports fans, is organic rock. No forced sidesteps toward something for the wrong reason. Straight forward rock. And not hard rock or metal or any music of sub-genre status. Rock for the sake of the song.
Jones pieced together five good ones here, one which knocks me on my keister, and they bring back the days of Bill Puka and the electric James Taylor and Jim Dawson and a whole string of artists who deserved more than they got (this list is longer than my arm, people, and my arms are long). Jesse Colin Young comes to mind on Ophelia (a Robbie Robertson tune and the only non-original). Remember Grizzly Bear off the self-titled Youngbloods' album? Something like that. What Goes Up is a bit more folkie than the rest, but it is a good folk tune. Wandering Love and Another Night, Another Town are good rockers in the vein of, say, Loggins & Messina or Stu Nunnery.
The real treasure on the EP, for myself at least, is the more electric and rocking Honest Man, complete with exceptional and tasty lead guitar and keyboards. Mid-tempo, it relies as much on rhythm as melody/harmony. This I would classify as L&M at their best, and though I never cared much for their hits, I have to admit that when they hit the note, it was a good one.
Bad thing is, I could have used maybe five more tracks to smooth things out. Sitting down to a few songs is okay, but these guys make me want to hear more. Sometimes, five just ain't enough. Here's a taste.
Frank O. Gutch Jr.
(Frank Gutch Jr. writes and has written for numerous magazines and websites, presently including this blog, his own website and the prestigious Don't Believe A Word I Say site put together by musician and music pundit Bob Segarini, out of Toronto. He specializes in the Indies, having fought hand-to-hand combat with major record labels for decades (talk about zombies). He believes music should be the core of the music business, though business it mostly be, and denies the accepted reality in the stead of the artistic one. Seldom does he receive pay for articles and/or reviews and believes that there is no place for negatives in a world in which one cannot keep up with the positives. He is, in a sense, a lost soul in a sea of music, drowning, but drowning gratefully.)