Jeremiah Johnson is clearly establishing himself as one of the latest guitar players to break onto the scene. His latest release, Blues Heart Attack, is a strong follow up to the acclaimed 2015 release The Grind. There is an even mix of all their influences. There are real strong blues roots, a little bit of southern jam band, country, and a good dose of rock with the influence of the masters sprinkled throughout this album.
The dynamic rhythm section of Jeff Giradier (bass) and Benet Schaeffer (drums) delivers on the rock right out of the gate. The riff driven “Mind Reader” and “Room of Fools” will hook you right from the start with its smart, relatable lyrics and groove. The album title phrase is clearly pulled from “Flat Line,” which features a walking bass line with a little shuffle rhythm and gives a definite jazz underpinning showcasing the depth of influences that inspire this group.
A ’50s rock sound along with some great Honky Tonk piano shifts the direction again on “Get In The Middle.” Jeremiah’s soulful side shines through with the slow blues of “Summertime.” “Skip That Stone” shifts things into another gear with a clearly southern rock jam band sound and that chugging train rhythm that Johnny Cash made famous. Buddy Guy’s influence is clear in the short cutting guitar fills between vocal phrases on the gritty blues of “Talk Too Much” while things get decidedly funky on “Sun Shine Through.” Things take a strong southern county influence with the ‘Southern Drawl,” which slowly picks up the intensity as the song progresses until the tension is relieved for an excellent little solo guitar break that slows things down all over again.
“Everybody Party” is exactly what it says; a fast-paced little New Orleans blues jam that has to get your feet moving. Everything slows down for a second time with the emotive blues ballad “Here We Go Again.” Jeremiah’s vocal range is featured and Buddy’s influence is noticeably evident once more as he hoots and hollers his way through the rockin’ closer of “It’s Been Hard.”
The Jeremiah Johnson Band deliver a well-rounded album filled with original tracks that are unmistakably influenced by a plethora of different blues traditions. Jeremiah’s singing is raw and emotive. You can feel his love of craft and if his vocals do not convince you, then the top-notch guitar playing will.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– It’s Been Hard
– Mind Reader
– Southern Drawl
– Room of Fools
The Big Hit
– Southern Drawl
Review by Kevin O’Rourke
Buy the album: Amazon