Andrew Jr. Boy Jones & Kerrie Lepai Jones – Jr. Boy & Kerrie’s Blues
Galex’C Records – 2019
13 tracks; 59 minutes
Andrew ‘Jr. Boy’ Jones is a Texan guitarist who cut his teeth with Charlie Musselwhite, Katie Webster and Freddie King amongst others before producing a series of eight solid solo albums on labels like JSP, Rounder and Electro-Fi. His latest release is on his own label and features his wife Kerrie Lepai Jones who released her own solo effort Organic Blues in 2017, also on Galex’C. In support here are Tim Tlee Waites on bass, Tommy ‘The Thrill’ Hill on drums, John Street on keys and Debra ‘Bo’ Bohannon on backing vocals. Andrew and Kerrie share the vocals and Andrew plays all the guitar parts. The music is all original, Andrew being the main writer with other band members contributing to four songs.
We start with Andrew and Kerrie inviting us to a “Blues Party” and it sounds like a fun time with Andrew’s Freddie King styled guitar leading the way with John’s warm organ work supporting the leisurely shuffle. “She Shed” sounds an odd title but all is rapidly explained by Andrew as he amusingly describes his girl setting up the equivalent of a man-cave at the bottom of the garden, Andrew becoming increasingly concerned that it may turn into a ‘love shack’ as he plays some excellent, restrained guitar in which you can hear every note clearly. Kerrie then leads the way on a song that warns girls of “Mr Slick” who may be “tall, dark and handsome” but is definitely a danger to the young ladies; that song definitely uses a classic blues theme and nothing is more classic than the excellent “Blues At Sunset”, a superb, late night instrumental, and one of the picks of the album for this reviewer – Andrew plays brilliantly and John’s piano solo is a bonus. Andrew is a little self-deprecating when he describes himself as an “Old Joker”, a fine shuffle with more great guitar work. Kerrie takes center stage on a soulful ballad as her character asks her unfaithful partner “Do You Ever Think About Me?”.
A second instrumental “Just Us” is the four instrumentalists playing a very lyrical piece before Andrew ups the pace with the funky “Road Doggin’”, a tale of how a working band operates. The couple celebrate their love together with “Good Life”, Andrew giving us some nice BB King licks on this rather sentimental number. “Sunday Drive” is an instrumental with a relaxed, slightly latin, vibe and Kerrie sings very well on “Blame It On Me”, another number with a similar musical feel and heartfelt lyrics about keeping love going. The album closes strongly with the upbeat “Don’t Mess With Me” as Andrew overdubs some fine lead guitar over his rhythm work behind Kerrie’s strong vocal.
There is not a weak track on this very enjoyable album – no overlong solos or showboating, good songs and fine vocals – this is a modern blues album with touches of soul, so ticks a lot of boxes.