While still a teenager, Jack de Keyzer was playing guitar with Canadian harp legend King Biscuit Boy. Jack then went on to play for Ronnie Hawkins. Throughout the first-half of the 80s, Jack played with numerous rockabilly bands. In 1985, he formed his own group and decided to play a variety of musical styles. That variety is well represented on his fourth CD. On it, 14 all-original songs cover the gamut of roots music. The songs describe the trials and tribulations of a traveling bluesman. They reflect real-life on-the-road experiences from someone who is living the life. The cover depicts the elements that are essential for such a life. Upon hearing this disc, listeners will come to the conclusion that Jack is content with his gypsy lifestyle. In addition to co-producing and writing all of the CD's material, Jack handles guitar, vocals and percussion.
Things begin with the bopping energy of "Deal Me In". On "Soul Lover", de Keyzer injects southern soul and makes it groove through your veins. Jack's style here is as good as anything that has been released on a Memphis label. He eases into the radio-friendly adult contemporary arena on a couple numbers. "The Answer" is one such song and it reveals his pensive side. Here, Jack searches for the answers to questions that mankind has struggled with since time began. His intonation is used to dramatically make his points. Thus, you will be forced you to partake in the pondering. Perry White's saxophone lays the foundation for "King Of The Blues". Here, Jack's precisely-timed, expressive guitar playing is some of the best that the CD offers. "Rock 'Til We Drop" is simple rock and roll from the early days of that genre. Michael Fonfara and de Keyzer exchange licks off their piano and guitars respectively as if they were Johnson and Berry. The result is a stomping house party that will pack the dance floor when performed live. "Funk This" is a James Brown 60s soul style tune that is loaded with fun. The pure blues fan will love "Engine Trouble". Its ingenious and humorous lyrics describe how Jack knows his woman is cheating on him. This song has one of those mind-blowing guitar solos that leaves you in awe and admiration of the artist's talent. Things conclude with the title track. It's an elementary tune featuring Jack and his guitar aka his "6 String Lover". Again, intelligent words are used to bring life to an inanimate object.
The songwriting and artistry are this disc's greatest strengths. Michael Fonfara (quite possibly Canada's finest keyboard player) impresses on both B3 and piano. Alec Fraser (bass), Tony Ajo (drums) and David Rotundo (harp) are all equally talented and aggressively support de Keyzer. As an entity they are comfortable and confident playing jump, soul, adult contemporary, rock and roll, funk and blues. Forty-six year old London, England, born de Keyzer has a voice as versatile as his musicianship. On this disc, he doesn't delve into anything new. However, for 60 minutes he performs a bunch of great upbeat tunes. Pleasure is definitely this man's business.
For CDs and information, contact: Jack de Keyzer, 10 Hawkstone Crescent, Whitby, ON L1N 6R5 Canada (905) 433-3778 Website: www.jackdekeyzer.com
Simply click on the CD cover at left to order this CD NOW!
This review is copyright © 2002 by Tim Holek, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
For permission to use this review please email Ray Stiles at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Hosting & Design:
Web Hosting & Design.
Most affordable web hosting and design services available.
Find out how you can host your current site at Blues On Stage, or how I can help you design your own website!
If you would like your CD reviewed, please send TWO (2) copies, along with promotional material to:
Blues On Stage
PO Box 582983
Minneapolis, MN 55458-2983
E-mail Ray Stiles @ email@example.com with any questions.