Record Review: Davis Coen

Davis Coen
Jukebox Classic
Charleston, SC

“Jukebox Hero”
The strength of Davis Coen’s Jukebox Classic is its variety.  And that is not something you can normally write about a blues album.  The blues is not a genre exactly begging for boundary pushing or innovation.  That’s part of its charm.  So it’s a particularly pleasant surprise to hear an 11-song set of blues that doesn’t retread its own sonic territory.

From Delta Blues on “Tight Times” to boogie shuffle on “Cool With Me Tonight” to the gray area between country and blues normally reserved for Townes Van Zandt on “Don’t Ever Be Sorry”, Coen bounces from one end of the blues spectrum to the other.  Even the covers: “Better World,” “By and By,” “Big Leg Woman” and “After Hours” are either lesser known or done in fresh styles.

The band is high class, featuring Jimbo Mathus of Squirrel Nut Zippers, with a loose atmosphere suited for these relatively bouncy (as far as blues goes) tunes. Coen’s John Lee Hooker-cum-John Hiatt voice can hold its own.  But what sets it apart are the song choices and the arrangements.  Some might claim its merely a supplement to Coen’s last release, Magnolia Land, but Jukebox is every bit as tight, and as consistently engaging as any contemporary blues album out there. (Soundview)

Produced by Justin Showah and Jimbo Mathus // Mixed by Justin Showah // Mastered at L. Nix Mastering

www.daviscoen.com

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