7 songs – 32 minutes
The debut album from the Denver, Colorado, combo, John Weeks Band, is either a short album or a long EP. Either way, it’s a very enjoyable slice of guitar-driven modern electric blues.
The band is named after singer, guitarist and songwriter, John Weeks, who has an interesting back-story having been born and raised in France before moving to and settling in the USA. The band has something of an international feel with keyboardist and harmonica player Andras Csapo (known simply as “AC”) hailing from Hungary, although the seriously fine rhythm section features Illinois-born Curtis Hawkins on bass and Detroit native Tim “Chooch” Molinario on drums.
All seven songs are written by Weeks alone, or in combination with Csapo or Hawkins and they cover a broad range of modern blues styles, from the Texas-style shuffle of opener “All Night” to the Memphis-funk-by-way-of-the-Delta of “Devil In My House”, which features some fine finger-picked guitar by Weeks and first class supporting harp from Csapo. The minor key “How Can You Love Me?” nicely articulates the feelings of many people in dysfunctional, dying relationships who still hang on desperately hoping things will improve. “How can you love me,” sings Weeks in an emotionally charged tone, “if you don’t like anything that I do or I say? The only time that we get along now is when you always get your way (and you get it all the time).” Weeks then turns in a magnificent solo, one of the highlights of the album. Whether it is because of his background playing gigs in Paris or some other reason, but Weeks manages to be wholly convincing as a blues guitarist whilst venturing outside the usual blues scales and giving a very distinctive, throaty voice to his guitar.
The one instrumental on the album, “Why Don’t We Sleep On It” is an upbeat, swinging number with excellent interplay between harp and guitar. “You Never Say What You Mean” is a jazzy number with funky guitar playing the opening lick in tandem with AC’s organ, a trick that is repeated in “I Want To Get Back Home” where the guitar and the harp both play the opening melody before giving way to a funky blues song with staccato chording in the verse. The final song on the album, “Moving On”, has an almost 60’s feel to it, featuring a simple but powerful B-3 riff under a tale of another love affair gone bad. Weeks turns in another memorable solo, which nicely ties in with the ambient feel of the song, initially spiky but then floating and yearning.
The John Weeks Band was only formed in 2013. On the evidence of their self-titled debut album/EP there is a lot more great music to come from these talented musicians. In the meantime, there is a lot to enjoy in this short little beauty.