CD Review – Jake Lear “Diamonds and Stones”
The best way to describe the sound of the new album from Memphis guitar troubadour Jake Lear is to call it “electric folk blues.” The self-produced album of eight new songs and two covers has a raw, wide open, rough around edges sound. Lear prefers to plugged straight in and strum his Stratocaster, and talk sing his way through the songs evoking early sixties Dylan and the Stones. The taught rhythm section of Roy Cunningham (drums) and Carlos Arias (bass) offer a study in groove discipline and economy as they seamlessly navigate each track with precision, offering exactly what is needed. The most memorable tracks include the deliberate dark march of “Strange Things,” and the swampy blues of the title track, where Lear gives us the simple truth of an every man’s philosophy “some days your rich, some days your poor and all alone.” The Junior Wells staple “Work Work Work,” is given a hot roadhouse two beat treatment that is simply fun and infectious. The instrumental Texas surf rock track “Boogie Time,” feels like a little added bonus as it ends the album with flair. Jake Lear should garner some new fans with his Diamonds and Stones.
Rick J Bowen