Web Exclusive! Reviewed: The Soul of John Black’s Latest Release, Black John By Matt Blackett

April 1, 2009

 The title track that opens the record sports super-tight funk guitar and snaky lead lines from Bigham. He and the band move into swampy, greasy soul on “Betty Jean,” inspired by Betty Davis (wife of Miles). There’s a great sense of space, and the production lets all Bigham’s skanks and fills cut through. He flexes some jazz muscle on the intro to “Ever Changin’ Emotion,” which also happens to be a great showcase of his soulful vocals. Bigham cranks out a whole bunch of cool Tele tones on this disc, from bridge-pickup stabs to neck-pickup smoke. When he puts down the Tele he dishes up gut-level Dobro work on “Last Forever.”  The sound is immediate and honest. Bigham calls it “country funk.” I call it badass. Eclecto Groove. —Matt Blackett

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