Review: Jesse Damon – Southern Highway
On Fire Records (2016)
Reviewer: Dan Mann
For Jesse’s fifth solo album he’s taken a slight change in direction from the previous releases and visits the blues rock genre. Jesse was talking about releasing such an album for a few years now and finally it’s seen the light of day.
Kicking off with ‘Who’s Your Daddy‘, a real foot stomper of a track, there’s no mistaking Jesse’s voice which fits perfectly with this style. ‘You Got Me Rockin‘ would fit perfectly in Jesse’s last release, the excellent Temptation In The Garden Of Eve, with just a slight blues feel to the guitar sound.
Moving onto ‘Let It Slide‘ this has a more southern rock feel to it, another genre I’m a fan of. Jesse’s vocals showing he’s lost none of his ability as a singer and with a lovely tone to the guitar sound. ‘Foolish To Me‘ has a touch of ‘honky tonk’ piano which adds to what is another foot tapper, reminiscent of a good old barroom boogie band.
The title track ‘Southern Highway’ is a very laid back blues rock track with a catchy riff, another Temptation style song with a subtle blues rock dressing. Very enjoyable indeed. ‘Devil Down The Road‘ reminds me to a degree of something Ryan McGarvey or Danny Bryant would record, a well rounded blues rock track which had me cranking the volume up and letting it soak over me, as you can probably guess it’s one of my favorites on the album.
‘Backstabbin’ Lover‘ has that well rounded sound and vocal chorus that to me epitomizes Jesse’s solo material and has kept me a fan of his material outside of Silent Rage. ‘Starting Right Now‘ reminds me of Kenny Wayne Shepherd which instantly works for me, which leads us into ‘Outta My Mind‘ another track with Southern rock roots and nicely done too.
Keeping in that southern vein a nice section of twangy guitar leads us into the final track on the album, ‘Just Another Fool‘, which just rounds the album off perfectly.
This is an album which will take existing Jesse Damon fans into areas of blues rock and southern rock but without them feeling out of their depth. I for one will certainly like more of the same.