Dennis Jones has provided a quality blues album with “Both Sides of the Track,” which does indeed, move from the heavy side to the smoother, more traditional side of the genre.
With the heavier material on the album, like the opening “Enjoy the Ride,” “It All Depends ” “The Machine,” “Nobody’s Slave,” and “I Can’t Stop,” Jones is strongly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix vocally, and that is never a bad thing. “Enjoy the Ride” also has a searing sax solo by Jimmy Z Zavala to liven it up even more. On “The Machine,” the musicians all give the song an Experience-type vocal too. Prepare to have your mind blown. “Nobody’s Slave, ” with its ripping guitar solos, has that same highly effective sing-song rhyme pattern that Hendrix took from the early blues masters and has passed along to Jones and others.
The other side of the track comes in with “Better Than Him,” a much more traditional blues that shows that Jones can easily handle this style, too. “Mr Right” is more traditional blues, too, even though it still offers that screaming guitar Jones does so very well. “Number Two” is a lighter, jazzy shuffle. “Skin and Bone” is a darker rock ballad while “When You’re Not Around” is a yearning contemporary blues ballad greatly enhanced by the Hammond B3 work by Teddy ZigZag.
To me, “What” is mostly notable for the awesome harp work punctuating the vocals. “Shines on You” is a contemporary blues-rock number, a style that suits Jones extremely well, as they all appear to do.
The album has been fairly serious all the way through, and then you come to the end and “Lonely Joint,” which is narrated by a joint that fell out of someone’s pocket. It’s light and fun and provides a cute ending for this versatile album that you will enjoy on any side of any track.