JD3 and the Jondo Trio is fun southern blues party rock and while that genre seems like an easily-checked box, it’s actually surprisingly hard to do well. Something Good rocks with an easiness that doesn’t feel dumb, with moments of instrumental flash that quickly return their energies to the album’s main objective: groove.
Helping things is that singer/guitarist Nate Mosley has a great voice, Jim Morrison meets Eddie Vedder, with a spooky blues grit that feels anchored in modern rock and roll. It works well against the blues-based beats, especially the tracks featuring horns, as it becomes a joyful mix of old and new, a modern energy over vintage song structures.
So on a song like “Restless Soul” you get a little bit of everything. Contemporary crunch on the guitars and uptownish, perhaps midtown, blues horns, with Mosley’s voice floating between times, an old-fashioned growl working an optimistic chorus that would have been a huge single in the 1990s. The track doesn’t sound dated—none of them do—but JD3 and the Jondo Trio tap into a hard-rocking bluesy sound (think Guns n’ Roses or Buckcherry) you don’t hear nearly enough anymore. “Have a Little Faith” has a similar build, an unstoppable groove punctuated by horns, with Mosley’s voice wrapping up everything in his personal intensity. Mosley generously contributes a melodic guitar solo that helps the tune kick into a higher gear.
Even the slower songs feel designed to get you up on your feet. “Big Daddy” is reminiscent of B.B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” right down to Mosley’s Lucille-esque guitar asides, but the tempo moves at a good clip and Mosley sings the song into more rock-and-roll sounding directions. “Texas” is more anthemic country rock, anchored by electric piano but led by Mosley’s guitar. The tempo here is low-key, but the band’s energy keeps the song from sounding too chill.
The term party band can come off as unflattering, like a band only interested in the crowd in front of them, not taking much time on their songs and albums. JD3 and the Jondo Trio give Something Good the energy of a live show, but also spend time crafting songs and performances, building something exciting but also musically nutritious. Their rhythms draw you in, but the talent and heart keeps you listening.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Big Daddy
– Have a Little Faith
– Restless Soul
The Big Hit
– Restless Soul
Review by Steven Ovadia