Jared James Nichols is the latest in a long line of guitarists to take the blues, shake them up, and deliver forth a blend of that pays homage quite nicely to rock’s musical roots. Starting with Jimi Hendrix, continuing with Stevie Ray Vaughn, and extending to the present day with players such as Joe Bonamassa, the blues/rock, guitarist/singer genre is well-defined.
Nichols has released a five-song EP, Old Glory & The Wild Revival, as his entre into the field. The opening song Blackfoot is a classic, driving blues/rock anthem that showcases his talents as a guitar player to the point that you’ll want to quietly want to put your guitar back in its case and never pick it up again. Yup, Nichols is that good.
Let You Go is a more conventional rock ballad that dispenses with all references to the blues. Can You Feel It, however, dives back in, right from the opening Chicago blues boogie riff to the extended guitar solos.
Sometimes is the real sleeper track on the album. A heavy song with sweet, crunchy power chords, it has distinct flavors of classic Southern rock—a genre which, of course, is heavily influenced by the blues. The song sounds as if it was recorded as a single take, as the rhythm guitar drops off during Nichols’ guitar solo, which makes that portion of the song sound a bit empty. This song might have been better served with a little overdubbing.
Take My Hand—now this is a song that starts that way people would expect a blues song to open up – with laid-back, acoustic slide guitar. After a few bars the electric guitar cranks up and the tune really gets rocking. There are a few interludes where the acoustic slide riff repeats, just enough to provide contrast and flavor.
EP’s are usually used by new and upcoming artists as a “starter kit,” both to familiarize themselves with the recording process, and to familiarize consumers that they have arrived on the scene. In Jared James Nichols’ case, he has arrived in style.
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