Have you ever gone “wow, now that is great guitar playing!” when listening to a blues record? You know, that feeling when everything’s perfect: not just the guitar solos, but the guitar tones, the sound, the choice of songs and the arrangements… Well, I don’t want to place expectations too high in listeners minds before they get their hands on Jordan Officer‘s latest album, “Blue Skies”, but I have to say this is one of the finest blues album I’ve heard in a long time.

Anybody who has heard Officer play – live or on record – knows how talented the guy is. It’s not just the talent, by the way, it’s also great music tastes (and I’m sure, years of practice) and the right artistic direction. Many blues records – even by awesome musicians – kind of get boring because they are so predictable. You know when the drums will kick in, you know where the bassline is going, you know where the solo starts and how long it will last. Jordan Officer’s “Blue Skies” is richer than the average blues album. There are glimpses of old style blues, kind of in the same mindset that Pokey Lafarge is, for old time jazz. A modern spin on classic blues.

 

The Montrealer does a superb bluegrass rendition of the 60s teen hit And Then She Kissed Me, which is almost unrecognizable at first. I mean, you know this melody right away, but your brain scans the whole music history to find what it is, until the lights go up at the chorus: “wow! That’s the Crystals… in blues!” Amazing!

I cannot finish this review without highlighting Jordan Officer’s superb guitar playing, which serve perfectly every song on his 3rd record. His touch, solid and precise, his tone, rich and clean, his sound, fat and round… every element is right on. Gents, we have a magnificent guitarist right under our noses. His singing is also very touching. Jordan Officer sings softly (When the Deal Goes Down) with heart but never with too much emotion: he keeps it low profile, letting his guitar shine (Takin’ Of). Jordan Officer isn’t a Joe Cocker type of singer, but his style fits with his overall music feeling. He’s up close and personal.

 

What a brilliant album. Get it now. Make it your Christmas gift to a friend or a parent (hope my dad doesn’t read this review…). Go to one of his concerts. The guy is awesome, has beautiful talent and great musical tastes.

JORDAN OFFICER
Blue Skies
(indépendant, 2015)

-Genre: nothin’ but the blues

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.