Davon Johnson (JusVon) is a pretty unique character. In addition to
belonging to the very small band of singing drummers, he also has the rare
distinction of being a blues artist on the Parliament Records label. Along
the way he has played with a range of blues and soul artists, including ZZ
Hill, Son Seals and Percy Sledge. "I'm JusVon" is his first solo outing
where he brings all this experience together into one place.
"Fix It Man" gets things off to a fine start, with its steady rolling
groove. It shows that JusVon has a very good voice, which is laid over a
synth dominated sound. Be warned that the "Fix It Man" is no ordinary
repair man! This is the first of 11 covers, and is followed by "My Lil'
Lady," the first of five originals written by JusVon and/or associates. It
is a slow blues, of the sort that Bobby Bland does so well.
The album is largely dominated by blues and soul/blues. These range from
standard 12 bar stuff ("Root Doctor" and Deadric Malone's "Think") through
classic R&B ("Here Comes The Fool") to the soulful ("I Don't Understand
Me"). JusVon has the vocal range to carry them all off with some style. The
band even stir a little funk into the mix for the Isley Brothers' "She
Ain't Givin' Up No Love" and "Do It Together."
The album eventually draws to a close with something a little different.
The Gospel-based, "Thank You (for the Angel in my life)," complete with a
modern day rap in the middle, is followed by "You For Me and Me For You."
The latter is much more blues-rock than anything that has gone before. The
CD track runs for close on 15 minutes, although the song itself only lasts
3 minutes 40 seconds. This is followed by a long wait for a hidden track
that never materializes.
"I'm JusVon" is a very good album. The album is clearly a vehicle for
JusVon's very fine voice, but he also has good accompaniment throughout
(uncredited in the liner notes). It may not be to everyone's tastes,
however, because there is a lot of use of synthesized horns. Those people
who like good singers of soul/blues will find plenty here to enjoy,
however. Well worth checking out.
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