Jeff Jensen: Road Worn and Ragged Review

With guitar riffs as powerful and revealing as the honest lyrics he belts, Jeff Jensen and his band have truly perfected the art of the blues. The catchy melodies fused with chapters of Jensen’s life story make these songs undeniably unforgettable tales that also manage to relate to any average listener. Having toured tirelessly for the last several years, and most recently with harmonica sensation Brandon Santini, the album title embraces the wearing effects of such a lifestyle. Although this is his third studio album for his self-titled group, Jeff Jensen has been gaining notoriety on the blues rock scene since he was only a prime 19. However, with so many years as a touring musician under his belt come an eclectic array of experiences and hardships, many of which come to life on this album, which he claims in his promo video to be his most honest and emotional record to date. While Road Worn and Ragged captures Jensen’s heartbreak, exhaustion, and travels with a blues-infused voice and passion, he will also capture an even more prominent spot on the blues rock scene with this superior release in August of 2013.

Road Worn and Ragged opens up with “Brunette Woman,” a song with tight blues instrumentals and powerfully revealing lyrics, which essentially set the tone for the entire album – “Well I can’t eat / I’m losing my health / Now look in the mirror, I don’t even see myself.” “Goodbye Portland” is a versatile song that could fit perfectly into a movie soundtrack or be the most played song on a person’s cross-country road trip. A refreshing and quick tune, this song embraces new beginnings, fresh starts, and bravely faces another of many goodbyes. The third track, “Heart Attack and Vine,” seems to reveal the sad truth in the Hollywood lifestyle. Walking the streets where the Devil resides (Hollywood and Vine) can only lead to bad habits, immorality, and a live-fast, die-young mentality. “Pepper” will have the listener instantly enthralled and moving to the catchy, perfectly meshed bass/guitar groove that carries the entire instrumental piece. In contrast, the slow, romantic track “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You” is honest and true, admitting to his lover that he can’t fully explain his overly affectionate and selfless actions towards her, except that “love makes me treat you the way I do.”

“Little Red Rooster” kicks up the pace again and provides a refreshing take on a classically familiar blues song title. “Crosseye Cat” opens up with a fantastic horn intro that carries the tune, sets the groove, and makes the piece an undoubtedly catchy track. The eighth song on the album, “Raggedy Ann,” is a clear description of himself as “tattered and torn,” “a little depressed,” and “running on empty.” Searching for a lover who understands, he’s just “looking for my Raggedy Ann.” “River Runs Dry” has a Bob Dylan-like feel – Jensen’s husky, powerful vocals are full of emotion as he sings on one of the most personally revealing and heartbreaking tracks on the album. The record ends with “Thankful,” a song that sums up his hardships yet, reveals at the end of the day, he is truly thankful for the opportunities he has been blessed with, along with being able to survive playing music for a living. This song ends the album on a very humble note, and almost sends a direct message to the listener, thanking him or her graciously.

The Jeff Jensen Band has a fantastic blend, producing novel takes on timeless blues themes and inspired grooves and melodies. Touring the world has and will continue to pay off for this talented group, and they’d better get used to living life road worn and ragged, as their notoriety on the blues rock scene is only just beginning.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Goodbye Portland
– Raggedy Ann
– River Runs Dry

The Big Hit

– Goodbye Portland

Review by Jill Jacobs

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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One Response to “Jeff Jensen: Road Worn and Ragged Review”

  1. arthur says:

    COME CHECK OUT JEFF JENSEN PLAYING OCT 5 2013 AT BLUESBERRY CAFE IN CLARKSDALE,MS 235 YAZOO

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