written by Lauren Rosier
New Mexico-based Jackson Price learned how to play blues guitar at a young age. But as he grew up, he was an actor for about 15 years doing guest spots on TV shows, supporting roles in movies, and acting in over 30 national computers.
This album, I Used To Have Fun, is one that pays classic homage to the genre’s best, including B.B. King (“Thank You B.B.”). Price stated, “I want to pay homage to the roots of real music in a time where music played by real bands is dropping from the mainstream.”
On the opening track, “Threshold,” Price delivers some of the catchiest, grooviest blues guitar I’ve heard in a while. Price sings about a woman who’s wearing a “too-short” skirt as he says “you got too much makeup on/why can’t you even see/your skirt too short/why can’t you just wear some simple blue jeans?/…”
The blues guitar on this track is just wailing and the musicians playing on it sound incredible. The theory and precision they take with each note results in a crisp sound and performance. The way they are able to consciously use their hands to adjust the sound and vibe of the note on the guitar.
The song, “Evil By The Plenty”, showcases a brass section layered over a sick guitar. It adds even more energy to the otherwise high-energy song. Price‘s vocals break the music and he begins singing. It’s such a catchy tune and not to sound like a broken record, but the brass section really gives the whole track a kick. You really can’t help but bop your head to the beat.
On “I’m Gone”, Price pulls out some of his country/folk influences. The banjo opens the track with heavy strumming as Price begins singing “it’s been a long time/to get where I’ve gone…” I love how Price steps out on a limb to write a song that is more roots-influenced rather than an album full of blues music. It showcases his versatility as an artist and the ability to create music that isn’t stationed in one single genre.
The rock ‘n roll shows up on the track “Message From God” where the blues guitars are wailing, the rhythm is steady, and the blues are full swing. Compared to some of the other songs on the record, Price delivers a high-tempo, high-energy performance on this song.
On “Bones Get Old,” Price channels blues artists like Eric Johnson and Big Bill Morganfield, with his serious deep guitar licks, solos, and riffs. The opening of the track starts with some serious guitars, as Price starts singing “I’ve got a bone to pick with you/so listen for the battle call…” The guitars in this song are electric and help to maintain the energy of the song.
“Done Gone Done Something Wrong” is a blues song that crosses the line between classic blues and contemporary blues. It has this smokey guitar feel to the song while Price sings that “it took me 40 years to get it right/and I done gone done something wrong..”
Price showcases his storytelling and lyricism on “It’s a Lie, But I’m Alive,” as he sings about getting high and doing drugs. It’s a case of irony, as the song, musically, is such an upbeat song, but when you listen to the lyrics, it’s different.
One of my favorite aspects of the blues genre is how well and exciting the blues guitarists are. They can just play and play; plus, they make it look so effortless. “Thank You B.B.” is a true blues song. It’s strictly an instrumental track with simply just blues guitar to say an ode to Mr. B.B. King.
Jackson Price and the Blues Rockets are definitely one of the most talented blues bands I’ve heard in a while. They deserve a listen, a shoutout, concert attendance, etc.
Connect with Jackson Price and the Blue Rockets