Sixth album from blues rock guitar hustler Laurence Jones hits the spot.
Release Date: 9th September 2022
Label: Marshall Records
Format: digital / CD / LP (yellow vinyl option)
The sixth solo album from Laurence Jones sees the guitar slinger snapped up by Marshall Records – they of the legendary Marshall amps – with the results packed off to Abbey Road with Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro mix master Chris Sheldon.
All sounds like a match made in heaven and heaven forbid the outcome be anything less than spectacular. Fortunately, Destination Unknown passes a thorough assessment with room to spare as ten tracks showcase the dynamic range of the songwriting and playing of Laurence Jones.
The unusual feeling as the cleverly sequenced Anywhere With Me kicks in is that it’s an album that really should be on one of those TV ads for ‘great driving music’ – the perfect set to accompany you as you cruise along the highway as you bang your palm on the steering wheel. Fist pumpers, big power ballads, sweet melodies
The strident and confident Bad Company influence and stop-start Rival Sons swagger of the opening cut – Anywhere With Me – kicks in and you hope that the remainder lives up to the same standard. Can’t Keep From Loving You might be how Paul Rodgers would sound fronting AC/DC and long with the Give Me That Feeling, that you could see coming from the pen of the groover from Vancouver Bryan Adams, it’s a potent opening triptych with plenty of familiar reference points but with the LJ stamp clearly evident.
Instrumentally the emphasis is obviously on the guitar but Jones is ably back by some fizzing keyboard and Hammond licks as we get a masterclass in Laurence Jones turning his hand to most styles. The big Aerosmith stylings on the angsty and powerful rock ballad Tonight, complete with false ending that heads into.a rampant two-minute coda with axe and keys duelling, ducking and diving like two flying aces in a World War 1 dog fight. The multitasking as he sings over the lengthy soloing passage in Holding Back is most impressive as well as giving the air guitarists a chance to grimace along as their fingers head down the (air) neck.
It’s surprisingly left to the title track that closes the album to bring the tempos mood down a little as we get a hint of the blues. “I can take you there with me,” he sings while peppering notes of blues dust, proof that Jones’ playing isn’t about speed and dexterity. Yes, he certainly has the chops and knows how to work the guitar with the Hammond, but down at the core, Destination Anywhere is a proud display of feel and emotion.
He’s currently right in the middle of a busy UK tour – remaining dates here.
Here’s the single, the opening track and the gateway to Laurence Jones, Anywhere With Me: