Due to health hassles and online problems, this review is a little late coming. However, if you don’t already own the album (why not?) this will give you the reasons why you should. As some would say “better late than never”. So here goes…
History And Background:
Jack J Hutchinson is a singer-songwriter from Leicester in England who plays southern-fried blues hard rock and has a strong soulful gritty voice. Having recorded 3 studio albums previously along with a couple of EP’s new album, Who Feeds The Wolf, is the work of a man on a roll. Slightly more heavy rock in places (even touching metal a couple of times!) compared to previous works but still having both blues and southern influences running through many of the 11 new songs.
He says that this is an “angry album” brought on by the state of the world at the moment as well as dealing with the sad news that his dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s for which this reviewer would like to send his best wishes to both him and his father. He said that due to all that he felt all he could do was “plug into my Marshall stack and turn everything up to full”. Although this is true in certain respects there are still some lovely touching moments of acoustic playing, harmonies and emotion in here as well. In fact, the flow of the album is very good with the softer or more melodic moments blending in at just the right moments helping to keep the listener’s attention.
The All-Important Songs:
It kicks in with single “Justified” a real barnstormer. With a great groove and riff, this grabs attention and sets the album up nicely. Keeping it rocking is second song “Haunted Bones” which has a riff that reminded me of “Sanctuary” by Alice Cooper that repeats at times mostly before the choruses. This is one of the songs that has a great chorus and a lovely wah-wah type guitar solo.
“Kiss Your Ass Goodbye” drops down with a sweet acoustic opening which heavies up after a short period. I imagine this being recorded after some fine whisky after listening to his vocal delivery, absolutely marvellous! Keeping it a bit mellower is “I Will Follow” which reminded me stylistically as well as vocally of The Who in their gentler moments. On this, he really has a touch of the Roger Daltrey about him. A sad reflective song showing the softest side of him. “Lucky Man” has a 60s thing going on with some nice harmonies, a gorgeous guitar solo and is a right toe-tapper.
The next couple of songs have a Black Crowes vibe about them, a bit country but still rock due to the heavier sections. The first of the two, “Piece Of Mind”, is also the first where the keys really shine, little moments of honky-tonk. I particularly enjoyed the guitar breakdown with the tambourine(?) leading into the solo itself. “Roll Another One” is at the moment my favourite track. It has a great groove, a terrific chorus and live should get everyone’s arms in the air singing along. I even heard a little Soundgarden around the 2 min 30 roughly.
“Let It Ride” is again hard rock meets country, a feelgood song, one which grows on each listen. This would be an ideal song to release for radio airplay. Easy on the ears and featuring a tasty solo, this is simply a great song. The keys feature once again more heavily on “Autumn Leaves”. Another which is based around acoustic guitar, quite a simple little piece but those keys add a cool jazz vibe to it.
Rounding it off are 2 more rocking tracks with “Winds Of Change” making me think of Deep Purple due to the keyboards. It is a fine southern rocker and again one that gets the feet and the head going. There is no doubt many of these songs are made for playing live and will receive a good reaction. “Sleep, Awake, Obey” is a stomper. For some reason, the attitude and boot-stomping reminded me of UK legends, Slade, if they were a blues band. No higher compliment from me on this. The way the chorus is sung around the drum fills is ready for a sing-song live. Great finish to the album.
An album of southern tinged blues songs to be enjoyed by those who enjoy any or all of the bands that I have mentioned in this review. Good quality throughout, no filler, no moments of jumping over a song. It also sounds better on each listen which is good. He is touring in March 2020 so buy this album and get out and see him on tour singing and playing the hell out of this material.
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