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Jackson Sloan

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Jackson Sloan - the Shack Sessions
Jackson Sloan – the Shack Sessions

Jackson Sloan & the Rhythmtones – The Shack Sessions

Shellac Records {2013}
Don’t Run Away From My Love – Can’t Find A way – My Chance has Gone – Same Old Suit – Across The Border – I Forgot To remember – Kickin’ Up The Dust – Big talk – Small Town Girl – No No Don’t Do It – Why Don’t You Let Me Know – Ghost Train.

I’m always more than pleased to find a Jackson Sloan album in my mailbox. The Shack Sessions makes no exception, far from that, it’s the singer’s strongest effort to date (Rent Party and Oop Bop Sh’ Bam included) and his deep voice has never sounded so good. Coupled with his ability to write originals (all songs are from his pen) and that’s it, another killer.
It takes a few bars of “Don’t Run Away From My Love“, featuring the Metrotones on B-vox (they appear on three more) and hear Pete Cook (tenor) and Alex Bland (Baritone) trading licks to agree with me. If you don’t you must be dead, or at least lost for good music. Next are two more slices of juicy Rhythm’n’Blues. “Same Old Suit”  features Laura B. (who had a records by herself on El Toro, check it out) on duet. It is followed by “Across the Border” a latin tinged tune with a Fats Domino groove with West Weston on harmonica (who played with Sloan in Rent Party). “I Forgot to Remeber” is a fine ballad, but “Kickin’ Of Dust” changes the pace and rocks with the welcome addition of a steel guitar (more like that on the next album please!). “Small Town Girl” and  “Why Don’t You Let Me Know?” see the horn section augmented by Graeme Turner (Drifters, Big Town Playboys and the list goes on…) on alto and tenor and you’re in for some sax madness. With Sloan, you can be sure that Big Joe Turner is never very far and “Ghost Train” the last and best track of the Shack sessions, propelled by Dave Raven’s slap bass proves it with class.

Jackson Sloan – Saturday Clothes

Jackson Sloan

Shellac Records -Shellacrecords001
Jumping On The Kansas Line – Take A Chance On Me Baby – Don’t Make Me Love You Again – I’m No Good Without You – Long As I Have You – Midnight Lover – Saturday Clothes – Saratoga Boogie – ‘Til The River Runs Dry – Love x 2 – Temptation – Lover’s Call.

Rent Party was one of the best British R’n’B/Jive act of the mid 80’s. Their singer, Jackson Sloan later moved on the jazz scene but resurfaced a couple of years ago with Oo-Bop-Sh’Bam, and proved he still had his warm voice. He’s now releasing an album under his own name featuring 12 original numbers. It’s rhythm’n’blues at its best, with a bit of boogie too and even a gospel. He’s backed by a terrific combo made of hot musicians namely Mike Thorne (Big Town Playboys), Richard Studholme (Blue Devils), Pete Pritchard (Flying Saucers, Scotty Moore and the list goes on…), Gunter Kurmayr (Ray Gelato) and Ray Gelato in person who also wrote the arrangements.Do I really need to add something after that to convince you? Well I can say that the sax is juicy when it needs to be, mellow on the slow numbers and it screams and honks like no tomorrow when the tempo fastens. The whole album for me is one of Gelato’s finest performances ever. The guitar is gritty just like it needs to be and the rhythm section sets the perfect groove. And on top of all that, like a cherry on top of a giant cake, you have Jackson’s voice, a true lady’s trap. And when Gelato describes him in the liner notes like a “modern day Joe Turner and Wynonie Harris”, you just need to listen to the first few bars of the first song to fully agree with him.
Now the choice is yours: buy it or buy it!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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