Review: Jared James Nichols – Jared James Nichols
Black Hill Records (January 13th, 2023)
Reviewer: Dan Mann
It’s a good start to a new year (Happy New Year folks) when your first review is for a new album by a blues rock guitarist you’ve been following for a few years.
That guitarist is Jared James Nichols, who returns with a self titled new album via Black Hill Records. With it being nearly six years since his last album, ‘Black Magic‘, I was intrigued to hear if there was going to be any sort of change to his characteristic sound.
The answer is yes & no. The no means his recognisable sound and style remains, the yes is that the production has certainly improved. Not that his previous releases have sounded bad, but to my lugholes the sound is crisper, with a wider soundstage which is exactly what’s needed for Jared’s style of blues rock, Eddie Spear (Zach Bryan, Slash, Rival Sons) has certainly worked his magic, producing, engineering, and mixing this album.
This is not laid back, tobacco spitting time. This is frenetic, fast paced, attention grabbing music, for those of you who’ve seen him play live will know exactly what I mean. The energy Jared exudes from those live performances is always going to be difficult to reproduce in a recorded format, but here you have an album that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and leans into your face to enquire if you’re ready to party!
Without a doubt, one of the tracks I heard ahead of the album, the energetic ‘Hard Wired‘, which came about after a jam session with fellow guitarists Tyler Bryant and Graham Whitford, is one of my favourites from the album, as is the raucous ‘Hallelujah‘, which won’t fit some blues rock fans ‘genre mould’, but is right on the money for me being someone who much prefers the dirty end of the whole blues rock thing.
While I certainly enjoyed ‘Jared James Nichols‘ on the first couple of listens, it was with repeated listening that the album took on it’s true form. There is such a maturity and sense of growth to the song writing and playing, hopefully this album will help propel Jared to the next level or higher.
- My Delusion
- Easy Come, Easy Go
- Down The Drain
- Hard Wired
- Bad Roots
- Skin ‘n Bone
- Long Way to Go
- Shadow Dancer
- Good Time Girl
- Saint or Fool
- Out Of Time