Kevin & JD – Blues Trip
8 songs, 34 minutes
The great thing about the Blues is that it can take so many forms. The slinky late night Blues of a saxophone and rhythm section, the syncopated revelry of a NOLA horn band, the bombast and holler of early Bessie Smith or the low down grind of Chicago. Kevin & JD, Canadian guitar compadres, have their own personal version of the Blues. Solo players in their own right, Kevin Gagnon on guitar and bass and Jeffery “JD” David on guitar and vocals offer a kind of souped up Blues Rock that melds crunchy heavy guitar sounds, Classic Rock lyricism and an occasional 50’s early Rock n’ Roll aesthetic on their debut album Blues Trip.
The highlight of Blues Trip is the juxtaposition of Kevin’s classic Blues guitar sound with JD’s pedal board heavy shredding. Pretty much every song offers a trading riff sequence. Whether trading 2’s, 4’s, 6’s or choruses, Kevin and JD play back and forth with clear instrumental voices. Opener “Warm These Blues Away” sets the tone with trading riffage that makes clear these two guitarists attuned listening. The title track also has some great passages back and forth. “In the Company of the Blues” sports some effective unison parts that add weight to the slow Blues.
Blues Trip is a full band heavy record. Using the 12 bar Blues form as the vehicle, the music drives and propels along. The unique character of this music is the use of heavy guitar sounds and Heavy Metal/Hair Band sense of melody. Not a wailing or facile singer, JD does have a straightforward and unique spoken word delivery that almost reminds one of Canadian Rock progenitors Rush.
Kevin & JD’s Blues Trip is a hard driving ride through a Hard Rock Blues landscape. With stops for a little Buddy Movie debauchery in the guitar interactions and a nostalgia detour with a bit of 50’s elements, this is a very weird and winding trip indeed. Although not breaking new ground Blues Trip does offer a unique perspective on the classic Blues form.