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Stacy Jones Band - Live and Untapped

EZ Money Records

11 songs; 62:28 minutes

Styles: Modern Acoustic and Electric Blues

Summer is a fantastic season for live blues concerts, whether indoors or out. In 2011 the Stacy Jones Band took the stage at Kennewick, Washington’s Untapped Blues and Brews festival--hence the name of their third album, “Live and Untapped.” Featuring music from their 2010 “Long Time Comin’” and 2011 “No Need to Spell It Out,” this release is a crowd-pleaser. Blues artists often pour extra energy into their live shows, although the overall sound may be less polished than on a studio album. That energy is certainly the case here, revealing why the Washington Blues Society deemed Seattle’s Stacy Jones and her crew “Best New Band” in 2009, and Jones as “Best Female Vocalist” in 2010. Joining her are Jeff Menteer on guitar and vocals, her father Tom Jones on bass, and Rick Bowen on drums and vocals. Besides a killer arrangement of T Bone Walker’s “T Bone Shuffle,” here are the three best of the band’s five original songs, among eleven total:

Track 02: “Heavy Water”--Written about New Orleans, this track eerily describes its conditions during hurricane season: “Black skies boiling far out to sea. Shades of warning, I do believe. Get yourself ready….” The chorus is far more infectious than those in natural-disaster songs have a right to be, and despite its moderate tempo, this song feels heavy due to Tom Jones’ bass and Bowen’s backbeat. “Feel the waves; feel the sound. Heavy water comin’ down!” In the wake of Katrina and, recently, Isaac, it’s especially poignant.

Track 06: “You Belong to Me”--The sixth song on this CD is a low-down, throw-down, swinging sensation! Stacy tells her latest conquest, in no uncertain terms: “Like a fish in the sea, you belong to me!” Her keyboard work here is absolutely phenomenal, and so is Menteer on growling electric guitar. Listeners, if they’re already standing up, will move and groove, and those who remain seated until this track’s over will wish they had.

Track 09: “Waitin’ On Love”--Number nine features another of Stacy Jones’ various talents, blues harmonica, with savory riffs in the middle. No one likes to play the waiting game when it comes to romance, least of all our narrator. “You’ve got me anticipating, baby, when you’re gonna make your move….” Her vocals are the most striking on this short and sweet selection, clocking in at three minutes and twenty-three seconds. Perhaps the band doesn’t want to keep blues aficionados waiting for a good time to grab the dance floor!

Since Stacy Jones and her band are decent songwriters in and of themselves, one might wonder why they spent so much time on covers here (e.g “Miss You,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “You Upset Me Baby”). However, when one’s “Live…”, festival-goers might still gravitate toward the familiar. It’s a shame, because their full potential is still “…Untapped.”

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 32 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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