New Blues: Jeremiah Johnson Band — ‘Blues Heart Attack’

Jeremiah Johnson Band — Blues Heart Attack
Label: Connor Ray Music

The Jeremiah Johnson Band is just that. (Which is quite enough.) Although he is the absolutely necessary center of things, Jeremiah Johnson has smartly surrounded himself with supremely talented supporting musicians, allowing him to soar. (Which he does.) The Jeremiah Johnson Band is: Jeremiah Johnson (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Jeff Girder (Bass), Benet Schaeffer (Drums), along with guests Nathen Hershey (Keyboards), Frank Bauer (Sax) and Tom Papa’ Ray (Harmonica). They are a blend of blues, roots, Southern rock, and just enough country to please any fan of rural American music.

There’s a lot of ’50s rock influence throughout, which only adds to the live party atmosphere the album achieves. Other influences appear from track to track, including Buddy Guy and Johnny Cash. But the album’s not all roadhouse jams; when an emotional ballad like “Here We Go Again” comes along, Johnson impresses with his ability to slow things down and dim the lights with his vulnerability (and vocal range). It is unexpectedly captivating and it sends the album into ‘must-hear’ territory.

One a single disc, the Jeremiah Johnson Band captures everything there is to love about blues/rock. I have no doubt that their live shows are on the way to becoming legendary. In the meantime, Blues Heart Attack is a nice way to go.

Essential Downloads: “Mind Reader,” “Talk Too Much,” “Southern Drawl.”

To preview or purchase this album on iTunes, click here.

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