“You can really play that guitar boy; I stole some of your licks.” – B.B. King
Jonathon Long, a Baton Rouge native, started playing guitar at age 6 and was quickly touted as a child prodigy. By the age of 14 Long was already touring regionally and making an impact on the blues scene. At the age of 22, he won Guitar Center’s “King of the Blues” Award for the best unsigned Blues Guitarist. Now a music veteran at 29, Long is developing further as a singer, songwriter, and live showman. Long is about to release his second release for Wild Heart Records, the label owned by another blues veteran Samantha Fish. Parables of a Southern Man releases on July 2nd, and like a good bowl of gumbo, has a lot of different ingredients to give it a diverse taste on the musical flavor pallet.
Jonathon has a soulful voice that is reminiscent of the golden age of Southern Rock and easily lends itself to the mix of songs on Parables of a Southern Man. The songs reflect the influences of southern music and being raised in Louisiana. The songs cover the spectrum from Blues, Jazz, Southern Rock, and Gospel. While praised initially as a guitar player, Long’s vocal abilities are quickly holding their own against his guitar playing.
The release starts off with the track “Madison Square Garden” which is a modern southern rock song about a musician’s dream of playing the most famous venue in America. Stylistically the song is rooted square between early Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker Band. The song features a tasteful slide guitar solo that ties the elements of the song together nicely. “The Ride” is an edgier song that gives the listener a taste of the grittier side of Long’s vocals while giving glimpses of his explosiveness as a guitar player. “My Kind of Woman” is an up-tempo shuffle that shows Long taking his playing and vocals throughout the song to higher intensity level. “Pain” shows the diversity and growth in Long’s songwriting and is closer to country single than a blues or rock song. The hook in this song is his vocal melody while still showcasing his tasteful guitar licks throughout the song. “Savior’s Face” is the lead single and off of the release and showcases Long’s soulful voice while blending it with his other rich musical influences. Lyrically it’s a statement about the modern misguided society (or church) who likely wouldn’t even recognize the “Savior” they worship. It’s a powerful song musically and lyrically while showing glimpses of Long’s potential as an artist.
Parables of a Southern Man expands on the foundation that Long built with his self-titled 2018 release. Long is an artist that has all of the right ingredients to be a well-rounded artist and not just a guitar slinger. With the right recipe (pun intended), he has the ability to become a force in the music community. Parables of a Southern Man takes him one step closer to that reaching his potential.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Madison Square Garden
– The Ride
– My Kind of Woman
– Savior’s Face
The Big Hit
– Savior’s Face