Jack Broadbent – Ride
Coming out of the UK this guitar virtuoso/vocalist inspired by 60s/early 70s white blues with some of the grit of old-timers is exemplified by his musical expertise. But there are spots that lack having lived the blues. That’s not to say Jack Broadbent isn’t worth a listen. He is.
But, like so many of the 60s blues-oriented artists that stretch from Savoy Brown to Long John Baldry, there will always be a tint of color in his blues that’s missing. What’s found in his muscular musicality is rich, but not so much in the vocal exuberance. Jack sings well, but it’s a rehearsed splendor, not a lived one. He doesn’t have a distinctive blues voice (neither did legendary guitarist Roy Buchanan). Jack’s voice isn’t John Lee Hooker, John Campbell, Duster Bennett, or John Mayall. Not yet, anyway.
But I find enough in Jack’s 8 tracks to smile & enjoy his fiery musical effort. He is entertaining. My point in regard to the loss of tint is evident in the cliched song titles. The songs themselves deserve better. There’s meat on their lyrical bones but “I Love Your Rock ‘n Roll,” “New Orleans,” “Hard Livin’” “Midnight Radio,” “Baby Blue,” – titles used to death in this genre sound more like Black Oak Arkansas, Foghat & Wet Willie.
Ride (Drops April 8–Creature/Crows Feet Records) features excellent guitar & that’s the real showcase. It’s nothing that hasn’t been done before but Jack (Lead Guitar/Slide Guitar) provides an exciting performance on this collection produced by Quebec-based drummer Mark Gibson.
“New Orleans,” (not the Gary U.S. Bonds classic) does possess more soulful blues. Is heavy on the J.J. Cale restrained funk feel & that’s good. This isn’t bad but if Jack wants to really shape his music into something original from an old tradition there’s some tweaking to be done. He has the voice & guitar stylizations but many times he reminds one of the listeners of others.
Broadbent excels on the grittier material than the balladry. Jack does have a good groove & he understands the music he plays. “Hard Livin’” is breathy blues, perfect for saloon/bar stages. It has a slinky dramatic space & the excellent finale on slide guitar is worth the price of admission.
The LP is on its face a R&R album. A good one. That alone makes it an interesting listen. His father Mick Broadbent plays bass (he’s from the former Motors’ spin-off band Bram Tchaikovsky).
Color photo: Jack Fasano & bottom image @ All Eyes Media.
The CD’s available @ https://jackbroadbent.co.uk/