There are so many hot young blues guitarists springing forth these days it's hard to keep track of them all. "How old is this one?", people are asking. "Where's that one from?"
Well this one is nineteen, he's from Austin, TX, and you probably won't have to work too hard to keep track of him. Jake Andrews stands out. He doesn't rely heavily on sustaining notes endlessly, bending strings to excess, or scampering all over the fret board at breakneck speed. Jake has fun with chords. Jake is happy to dole out some New Orleans rhythms and ‘50s rock and roll with his blues. Jake can write a great song. AND Jake can SING. His voice is strong, true, honest and mature - sounding like it belongs to someone much older.
Jake is the son of John "Toad" Andrews, guitarist for Mother Earth in the ‘60s. That may have given him an advantage in scoring a record deal, but his talent stands on its own. Most of the material on Time to Burn is hard-edged blues rock, and most songs are originals. "Drivin' Wheel" (Roosevelt Sykes) is probably the only cover most would recognize. Another lesser-known cover is the Fats Domino-colored "I'm Glad for Your Sake (But Sorry for Mine)," recorded in the late ‘30s by big band leader Andy Kirk and again decades later by Doug Sahm (Sir Douglas Quintet).
"Lover to Cry" is the coolest of tunes; a slinky, jazzy original featuring the Texacali Horns and a very tasty guitar solo from Jake that works in a little Wes Montgomery.
There's a lot more to like about this CD too. It has the sway and groove of Los Lobos, the wild edge of Chris Duarte, and just about everything in between. A very impressive debut release from a truly gifted young man. I can't wait for the next one … and, hopefully, to see him live!
This review is copyright © 1999 by Ann Wickstrom, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.