Stacy Jones – World On Fire (2022)

Stacy Jones - World On Fire (2022)
Artist: Stacy Jones
Album: World On Fire
Year Of Release: 2022
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Tracklist:
1. Jefferson Way (4:09)
2. Juke (2:42)
3. Love Me Just The Way I Am (6:02)
4. World On Fire (6:40)
5. Everything Is Going To Be Alright (4:28)
6. Insane Asylum (Feat. Tom Jones) (5:30)
7. George Stinney (5:17)
8. Oxen Heart (3:31)
9. Sunday Morning (4:44)
10. Midnight In Harlem (6:53)
11. Shine (4:18)
12. We Are Going To Make It Through (4:30)
13. Think (4:11)
14. With Music On My Side (2:50)

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Seattle based Stacy Jones and her band have lit up the Washington blues scene for the past few years, garnering many an award and accolade since 2015. Her recording career began in 2003and she and her band have released some great albums over the years. She’s performed at the Chicago Blues Festival and has received many awards from the Washington Blues Society in a state where the blues scene is quite large.

Stacy Jones sings, plays harp, organ, piano and acoustic guitar on this album. Jeff Menteer plays electric guitar and backs Stacy on vocals. Stacy’s husband Tom plays bass and helps lead one track vocally. Rick Bowen in on drums and percussion. The horns are Mike Gunther on trumpet and Gene Laukkonen on tenor and baritone saxophones.

The album begins with some greasy harp and slide and Stacy getting right into the mix. “Jefferson Way” is a great cut and Jones sings with emotion and lots of guts. The harp work is super and the groove the band lays down is outstanding. Did I mention slide guitar? Also well done. The standard “Juke” follows with some pretty harp work. A great instrumental piece, delivered tastefully. The original “Love Me Just The Way I Am” gives Jones the vehicle to show off her sultry and seductive side. A jazzy, lounge feeling is set up, but it’s certainly bluesy as the harp punctuation is a cool addition. Next is the title track, a slower torch song of sorts, another well done cut. A tasteful guitar solo adds to the performance and the song builds to a fiery conclusion. Next is “Everything is Going To Be Alright,” with the horns playing a bigger role. Another well done guitar solo is added here, too. Willie Dixon’s “Insane Asylum” follows with her husband Tom starting the lead vocals and then Stacy comes in with a forth right entry into the song. The duo and harp continue and it’s a great number. “George Stinney” is another original, a story telling about an unjustly arrested young black teen who was executed in South Carolina. The case was reexamined and the charges vacated in 2004, seventy years after his execution. Jones howls about the injustice. Stinney was only allowed to see his parents once between his arrest and eventual execution about three months later.

“Oxen Heart” is up next, a Celtic sort of ballad that Jones delivers with passion and feeling. A guitar solo is offered up here that adds to the feeling. Next is the acoustic original “Sunday Morning.” a nice, down home track with acoustic and slide guitars. “Midnight in Harlem” follows, a song we all know from Susan Tedeschi originally done by her and her husband’s band. This is a super rendition filled with feeling. The organ is sublime and the slide is equally beautifully done. Next is “Shine;” it and the next cut, “ We Are All Going to Make it Through” were written by Menteer with lyrics by Bowen and Tom Jones respectively. The former is a pretty, lighter number while the latter is bouncing and swinging. Both are enjoyable. Aretha’s “Think” is next and Jones does a nice job singing and playing harp with this big and soulful song. The horns and guitar add nicely to the fray. The album concludes with the stark and bare “With Music on My Side” with Stacy singing and playing harp and acoustic guitar. It’s a dong of surviving because of what the title says. Well done!

Exceptional vocals, great harp work and a super band make this an album you will listen to over and over again. I enjoyed the album and I am sure blues fans who listen to it will, too. I recommend this one!
by Steve Jones

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