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ALBUM REVIEW: Jake Dunn and the Blackbirds - Sad Songs

Sixteen wheels and an open road, oh wait. Well maybe four wheels, the open road, and this album. No matter how many wheels you have on your vehicle Jake Dunn and the Blackbirds new record Sad Songs seems like it was made for the open road. With Jesse Forrest on drums, Bobby Wheeler on bass, Chuck McPeek on guitar, and Jake Dunn on vocal and guitar they’ve given us ten tracks and an hour to go wherever we may like. The open road and a solid record can lend to some even more solid introspection.

I love listening to somebody whom the day before I had never crossed paths with, and then that following day I listen to ten tracks and I’m given this from JDB. If it’s Chuck McPeek on the majority, if not all, the guitar solos then I’m all in. His effortless touch blends well with a rhythm section that kicks. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with rock n’ roll guitar. It’s nice to hear that electric given it’s a proverbial wing to soar in all of its glory. I particularly enjoyed the rawness of the sound. In an age where over production can lean a little heavy, it was nice to hear a record that honestly seemed like it could have been recorded in a basement or garage. Simply ten songs that are them.

Jake Dunn wraps his lyrics and vocals around the soaring electric and snapping of the snare nicely. These are songs that aren’t overreaching or over the top lyrically. Simple and honest. Like any good country, rock, or folk songs they don’t try to do too much and more importantly just try to be as authentic to themselves as they can. Through ten songs that open road looked endlessly glorious, and one hour turned into a couple as repeat became a thing with this record.

Sad Songs the album is that. This an album. Each song flows into the next. It’s like within the record I was chasing this conversation that was happening. That I’m still not quite sure if I have it correct. That’s not the record’s fault either, that’s on me. The album is full of introspection as well. Could be mental health, a relationship, or the combination of the two, or something entirely different. Either way it certainly seemed to me that the record is inward looking and moving forward, my guess is much like the band. Also, “Ballad of a Sad Man” features some banjo, so I enjoyed that also.

For one hour and for ten tracks the proverbial sixteen-wheeler and the open road rolled through my mind’s eye. I could feel that wind, that comfort of just going somewhere, anywhere, nowhere. Jake Dunn and the Blackbirds Sad Songs was a nice escape from the doldrums of reality. It was really great to hear some simply genuine rock n’ roll. There are probably some other labels, but pfft whatever, this for me was simply rock n’ roll, and there is nothing wrong with that. Give yourself an hour and these ten songs and just allow yourself to listen. Jake Dunn and the Blackbirds are hitting the road or are on the road. Check out their website for dates, and check them out if they come to your town. More importantly enjoy their music which is available on their website and streaming services. ENJOY.