Soars High Productions
In 2009 JP Soars and The Red Hots won the band competition at the International Blues Challenge. JP Soars’ 2011 album “More Blues with Honey” resulted in him receiving a 2012 Blues Music Award nomination as “Contemporary Blues Male Artist of The Year”. JP is a blues treasure as his music encompasses all sub genres.
For his fourth studio album JP has written twelve new songs and covers two more. There are eighteen musicians lending their talent to help make this album. Soars’ states “Over the years I have been very fortunate to have met and played with some incredible musicians; musicians that I look up to, musicians that I admire and that inspire me. Some of these musicians appear here on this recording. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed making this music with them and the privilege to have them participate in creating this CD”. The album is co-produced by JP and Jeremy Staska.
Jp, guitar and vocal, opens with a song about his adopted home. “Ain’t No Dania Beach” is a Little Feat type tune. JP is accompanied by Canadian Paul Deslauriers, slide guitar; Travis Colby formerly of “Roomful of Blues”, organ; and the rhythm section of Chris Peet, drums, Greg Morency, bass; and Sam Harrison, percussion.
On the funky “Sure As Hell Ain’t Foolin Me” JP also plays bass; Colby is on both piano and organ while Teresa James contributes the background vocal. The title track, “Southbound I-95”, features a really cool vocal from Soars against a twangy surf rock sound. “Dog Catcher” features a calypso beat and Oscar Santiago on percussion. On “Troubled Waters” Reza Filsoofi is featured on Sitar; the lyric “love is music and music is love” will grab you.
Horns decorate three fabulous tracks. Terry Hanck, tenor saxophone, guests on “Shining Thru The Dark” as he joins JP, Peet, Colby, and James. The horn section of “Sax” Gordon, tenor saxophone; and Tino Barker, baritone sax; shine on both “The Grass Ain’t Always Greener” and “Satisfy My Soul”.
The instrumental “Arkansas Porch Party” features JP on acoustic guitar and co-producer Staska on percussion. The basic tracks were recorded at “John Smalls cabin deep in the Ozark mountains of Union Town, Arkansas. A hidden track includes some front porch banter from them. Another instrumental “Across The Desert” features JP on a Portuguese folk guitar and Lee Oskar on harmonica. A third instrumental “Go With The Flow” has a gypsy type sound with JP on an electric; Staska on percussion; and Scott Ankrom on clarinet.
The selected covers include Albert King’s “When You Walk Out That Door” with Jimmy Thackery added on guitar as he takes the first solo. On Muddy Waters’ “Deep Down in Florida” the guest guitarist is Albert Castiglia, who takes the first solo and sings lead on the third and fourth verses; Ankrom is on trumpet.
The autobiographical “Born in California” is JP’s story in song. “I was born in California but I was raised up in Arkansas, now I’m down in Florida where I play the blues for ya’all”. The phrasing on this tune is fabulous.
JP thanks “God for giving me the gift of music”. We thank God and JP as he graciously dedicates his success to his band mates and friends. This album might arguably be the best we have yet heard from JP as it is one of the year’s best recordings.
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