Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Jess Roden - The Best Of (1974-80 uk, remarkable blues funky classic rock, 2009 remaster)

Jess Roden was a journeyman British rock singer who caught lots of breaks, it's just that none of them were particularly lucky. He sang background in the studios and fronted various bands before playing with Keef Hartley, yet never went anywhere; sang for Robbie Krieger and John Densmore's post-Doors project the Butts Band, which also stalled; then he had a solo career on Island which is compiled on this quite good 2009 Lemon collection. 

Equal parts Rod Stewart and Paul Rodgers, Roden had a powerful bluesy growl made for rockers like "The Ballad of Big Sally" - and his cover of Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" trumps Joe Cocker's latter-day version - but he also sounds just as comfortable on softer material like "Blowin'" and the terrific Boz Scaggs-styled soft rock of "In Me Tonight." That track is an indication of how Roden got softer, slicker, and also somewhat funkier - if funk is nothing but loping basslines and wah-wah guitars - as the '70s came to the close. He still negotiated these turns quite well, and these are good, period soft rock, but Roden sounds alive on the earliest cuts, when he still had the chance of breaking through toward the blues-rock big time. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
1. Ballad Of Big Sally (Bruce Roberts, John Cartwright) - 5:44
2. Blowin' (Jess Roden, John Cartwright) - 3:28
3. You Can Leave Your Hat On (Randy Newman) - 4:05
4. Stonechaser (Jess Roden, Steve Webb) - 5:34
5. Reason To Change (Jess Roden) - 3:05
6. Woman Across The Water (Jess Roden) - 4:13
7. In A Circle (John Cartwright, Steve Webb) - 5:34
8. Trouble In The Mind (Jess Roden) - 4:08
9. Me And Crystal Eye (Jess Roden) - 4:14
10.In Me Tonight (Jess Roden) - 4:37
11.Can't Get Next To You (Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield) - 7:00
12.What The Hell (Jess Roden) - 4:57
13.I'm On A Winner With You (Jess Roden, Steve Webb) - 3:20
14.Deeper In Love - 2:59
15.Lonely Avenue (Doc Pomus) - 3:38
16.If You Change Your Mind (John Cartwright) - 3:18
17.Jump Mama (Jess Roden) - 4:02
18.All Night Long (Jess Roden) - 3:34

 *Jess Roden - Vocals, Guitar

Related Acts
1970-71 Bronco - Country Home / Ace Of Sunlight (2010 remaster)
1965-67  The Alan Bown Set - Emergency 999 
1969  The Alan Bown! - The Alan Bown! (2010 Esoteric remaster)
1972 Keef Hartley - Lancashire Hustler (2009 esoteric remaster)

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