Mike Ross – Jenny’s Place
English guitarist and bluesman Mike Ross is set to unleash a new record in March 2018 and it’s full of soul.
Opening with the deliciously dark and brooding ‘Bamboozled’, the tone of the record is quickly set as a guitar-driven blues fest. Ross’ solos and growls furiously leading the band into the catchy chorus and back again into the darker depths of the song.
There’s an immediate change in tone for ‘Take A Look At The Big Picture’ as it takes the listener on a boogie barroom twelve-bar shuffle. Hammond organ runs beneath the vocals and when the chorus comes it delivers a full-on, rich, melodic, and memorable hook.
Similarly ‘Baby I Love You’ continues in the bar-room vein with lashings of slide guitar and passionate harmonica playing all over it. ‘Jenny (Sun Goes Down)’ with its infectious Mancini based radio-friendly sound is a tribute to Ross’ wife and deserves to be playlisted by radio stations worldwide.
The multiple layers of the record are further explored in the jazz swagger of ‘Dakota Red’. With its catchy melody, saxophone, and vocal/guitar harmony mix, this one is a delightful, dreamy, otherworldly trip.
‘Dark Powder’ is a straight-up blues tune in which the power and delivery in Ross’ playing conjures up images of the late blues great Albert King, while ‘Harpo’ gives more than a nod in the direction of the late John Lee Hooker.
Ross may be from the North East of England, but, much like John Mayall and Peter Green, his influences are clear. Southern blues and rock consume the listener on this record. All the greats can be heard in the mix.
The influence of The Allman Brothers, John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Lynyrd Skynyrd abound in this record, but Ross delivers more than just a musical tribute to the greats with this package. This is an original, multi-layered, pleasurable listening experience delivered with fire and passion.
A classic 21st-century album full of 20th-century soul.
Jenny’s Place is released on 2nd March 2018.