Author: PT Gazell
For those of us who pay attention to who’s behind the music on hit records, Jelly Roll Johnson is no stranger. His credits over the last 20 years, reads like a who’s who of Country Music. So, when Jelly Roll releases a CD with his harmonica playing front and center, it makes me sit up and take notice.
A distinct departure from his last release “Jelly Roll Johnson & A Few Close Friends” which had Jelly Roll doing what he’s known for in the business, great backing work with songwriters, this project has the spotlight directed firmly on Jelly Roll.
“Songs From The Record World” is genuine, it’s round, it’s smoky, it’s dark, it’s tasteful… it’s good! Backed by top-flight players, Chris Brown, Dave Pomeroy, and Pat Bergeson, Jelly Roll pours emotion into every track with all the finesse one would expect of a seasoned musician, but oft times lacking in studio pros.
From the first 30 seconds of “Key To The Highway” you know how good this is going to be. The rhythm section is sparse, but extremely tasteful, providing a great platform for Jelly Roll to convey his message.
Of special note are the following: “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” which displays his command of the 10 hole diatonic. The Duke Ellington song, “In A Sentimental Mood,” which showcases his chops on chromatic. And my favorite cut, “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” which is reason enough to buy the CD.
Jelly Roll plays the way all Blues harmonica wanna be’s think they sound. Get the CD and see what I’m talking about.