" Doin' What It Takes "
Bob Putignano says that Lloyd Jones' latest, "Doin' What It Takes," will likely make his Top Ten list for the year. He says it should be on yours, too! Read why." Chip Eagle for Blues Revue & Blueswax
Tasteful and Refreshing
I was turned on to this tasty disc back in January on Delbert McClinton's cruise by Delbert's longtime sax player Don Wise, and have been patiently waiting for this one to come out. Now that I have my copy I can tell you that this is one of the freshest and unexpected surprises of the year for me, and it's very funky too!
The opening "Bend in the River" jumps right at you with its churning guitar riffs, soulful B3, and Jones' tantalizing vocals. "I'll Be Right On Down" has more of a blues feel, with uptown soul tinges, that could turn up on the set list of New Orleans legend Big Luther Kent. Needless to say, it's got that Crescent City groove and is one of two covers included; this one is penned by Leiber and Stoller. The ballad "Without You" could have easily been written by Delbert McClinton. Jones' slightly strained vocals are reminiscent of Delbert and it's a memorable track, especially with the smart horn arrangements. The title track powerfully percolates, especially with Ben Jones' thumping bass lines. Yes, once again the horns entice and Jones is on his game with his vocal.
The driving "I Can't Stop" is perfect for a high-speed car ride. Vroom! More pedal-to-the-metal high jinks ensue on "Never Again." That makes six strong tunes in a row and it's clearly evident that this is one heck of an album! But there's more. Jones opens "Give a Little" by declaring "Baby it's love time" on this sumptuous, full-of-twists-and-turns number that oozes with class. The second cover is the traditional "Worried Life Blues" by Big Maceo Merriweather It is performed solo with just Jones and his guitar and is a complete departure from the other tunes. "Ruby Do" closes the album in high fashion, the entire band, the horns, and Jones sparkle on this upbeat and humorous track with Jones assuring us that "Everything is Ruby Do!"
Kudos to Jones' production, songwriting, and strong vocals. And to his musical director (and this needs to be said), horn arranger, and multi keyboardist Glenn Holstrom. Holstrom's solid work (especially his horn arrangements) added so much to this recording.
Hopefully Doin' What It Takes will allow Lloyd Jones to attain the nationwide attention he deserves for putting this excellent project together. Last but not least, I suspect that Mr. Jones' new CD will make it onto many 2012 "best of" lists too. I can tell you that it will likely be on my top ten, as Doin' What It Takes is so neatly crafted and precisely conceived from beginning to end.
Bob Putignano is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax, a contributing writer at Blues Revue, and the heart and soul of Sounds of Blue.com