More Bees With Honey

JP Soars

When this CD turned up in the mail, I didn’t have high expectations. First, I’d never heard of the guy, and second, I get lots of free music from record companies looking to get a little media attention. Most of that stuff is “good” in that the musicians are solidly competent, but much of it is predictable, especially the blues stuff. Then, too, my lifelong attention to the blues may be waning now that I’ve reached an age when women and whiskey aren’t as central to my concerns as they were when I first started listening to Jimmy Reed or Howlin’ Wolf back when Kennedy was president. But JP Soars made me prick up my ears. The instrumental track, “Lost It All,” is a riveting blues number that makes plain Soars has distinctive things to say with an electric guitar. All the blues themes are echoed here, but the echoes ring new and ring true. He’s channeling lots of influences, but he’s making them all his own, and that makes him worth hearing. When he sings about “Chasing Whiskey with Whiskey,” he’s telling an old tale in a way that makes us hear it as if for the first time. And, when he plays his homemade two-string cigar-box guitar on the album’s title track, he’ll make the hair stand up on your arms.