string(5) "index" FATEA - Home dsffg

Reviews

Karen Jonas Karen Jonas
Album: Lucky Revisited
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 11
Website: http://www.karenjonasmusic.com

"Hold on your hats, boys" advises Jonas before the first track kicks in, an indication of what to expect from this revisiting of nine songs culled from her three previous albums and reflecting their musical growth through constant touring alongside two covers.

Taking things chronologically, her 2014 debut, 'Oklahoma Lottery' yields four tracks, first up being the title track still taken at a slinky prowl but with more of a Southern country edge than the original bluesy version. 'River Song' here comes minus the definite article, and is taken at less of scuffling pace and shorn of its Dolly Parton flavours for more of a Cash chug and a twangy descending chords guitar break from Tim Bray. 'Money' still scampers along at pace as the semi-spoken lyrics tumble over themselves while the guitars do their breakdown thing behind her, the fourth being 'Lucky' itself, now with an even slinkier jazzy blues groove and some fine reverb from Bray.

Moving to 2016's 'Country Song's, there's three picks, the title track ditching the fiddle (even though it's still mentioned in the lyrics) to put the emphasis on electric guitar but otherwise still of a honky tonk jukebox persuasion. The slow swayed 'Wasting Time' has grown in the vocal delivery, the guitars slightly less hairy-chested, though I do miss the pedal steel, while the new collection opens with 'Ophelia', sounding even more like the 'Benny Hill Theme' meets 'The Ballad of Jed Clampett'.

Being the most recent, last year's 'Butter' accounts for just two, again including the title track, the horns kicked into touch but its tale of a whiskey drinking, hardworking mama still very much a bluesy, sexy swing slink that you might have imagined Eartha Kitt purring through. The other is a restyling of 'Gospel Of The Road', originally a full sounding organ backed soul burn but here stripped down to reflective acoustic ballad basics, very different but equally striking.

The two covers that make up the tracklisting span virtually two decades and come from icons of both, the first a suitably goodtime swagger through Hank Williams classic 'Lovesick Blues', the other an inspired, slow and soulfully wearied reading of Dylan's harmonica wailing blues 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry'.

Essentially a best of recast in their current live incarnations, but recorded in the studio, it serves as a reminder of the sassiness in her voice and the quality in the writing, presumably also drawing a line in the sand from which to progress into her next collection of all new material.

Mike Davies