I am a huge fan of the late Toy Caldwell of the original Marshall Tucker Band. If there were ever a guitarist whose guitar work defined the Southern Rock era it would have been him. Armed with a Les Paul played with thumb rather than pick, Caldwell’s tone was the voice of the genre. There was also something very familiar about his vocals and songs, you sort of felt like he was sitting in your living room telling tales and singing songs. He was also a US Marine who served his country and was wounded in Vietnam, thank you for your service to our country, Mr. Caldwell.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana native Jonathon Long is cut from a similar mold. His self-titled release is loaded with the same high quality ingredients: soaring and majestic tone heavy guitar, well written songs that tell stories, and a wonderfully gifted singing voice, something often not a part of the repertoire of the average ax slinger. Like Caldwell, Jonathon Long’s music has a very familiar feel to it, like a phone call from a childhood friend or your old favorite sweat shirt.  Long’s guitar breaks are clean, powerful, and passionate. This is what I termed years ago American Music: a blend of country, blues, and rock. I can tell you without hesitation that after hearing this CD, Jonathon Long is going to be one of my favorite artists for as many years to come as both of us have left.

The overall feel of the CD is somewhat like the Doobie Brothers (the Tom Johnston version) meet .38 Special which equals great hard driving blues based, blues/rock music, the kind that we prefer around here. Long’s producer Samantha Fish makes a few cameos on the CD which certainly does not hurt the sound but this recording is pure Jonathon Long. The CD opens with “Bury Me”, which begins with a Hendrix like intro cascading into almost a blues/rock anthem of sorts. The guitar break is especially enjoyable on this song. Really, there is not a bad cut in the bunch. I particularly enjoyed “Bury Me”, Long and Fish’s collaboration on “The River”, the incredibly entertaining “Pour Another Drink”, the powerhouse vocals and guitar in “This Road”, and concluding with “Pray For Me”, a tremendously strong offering to be sitting #11 in the lineup. But again, the entire set is so strong it had to be difficult to decide in what order the tracks should be listed.

The backing players are excellent, songs well written and produced, and Jonathon Long is spot on with both guitar and vocals. I would think that his biggest challenge in his future is deciding what genre to target, as he has great potential in several. If you are a fan of blues/rock, country/rock, or Southern rock you are going to want to add this CD to your collection. The CD is available via Wild Heart Records and be sure to visit Jonathon Long online at www.jonathonlongmusic.com

I have read where Jonathon Long is preparing to record a new live CD, and you can put me at the front of the line for people chomping at the bits to get a copy.

The Band:

Jonathon Long-Vocals / Acoustic and Electric Guitars
Julian Civello-Drums
Chris Roberts-Bass
Phil Breen-Keyboards
Samantha Fish-Guitar Track 1, 4 & , Vocals on Track 7
Michael Harvey-Fiddle Trk 7

The Tunes:

Bury Me
Shine Your Love
That’s When I Knew
The Light
Living The Blues
Natural Girl
The River
Pour Another Drink
This Road
Where Love Went Wrong
Pray For Me

 

Review Copyright 2019 www.bluesrock.reviews

 

Reviewer

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