Stacy Jones’s World on Fire

By Brian Rock

Stacy Jones blazes into her second decade of singing the Blues with the release of her seventh album, World on Fire. Jones and her talented band bring the heat with a combination of Chicago, Texas and Memphis style blues. Like Susan Tedeschi, Jones adds a sultry element to her blues moan; and like Heidi Newfield, she plays a mean harmonica when words just won’t do.

“Jefferson Way,” showcases her blues harp chops and guitarist Jeff Menteer’s slide guitar skills. With a driving backbeat, Jones moans, “There’s a whole lot of crying on Jefferson Way. Maybe me and you can get together, we can cry all night and day.” Seeking solace from a broken heart, Jones finds comfort in the arms of another broken-hearted lover. The full-tilt Texas blues rhythms hint that the two may be well on their way to healing.

“The Ballad of George Stinney,” digs deeper into Texas Blues to tell the tragic tale of the 14-year-old African American boy falsely accused and executed for murder in the Jim Crow South of the 1940’s. Lamenting the horrific injustice of it all, Jones sings, “Another blackbird flying up to heaven in the night; and the devil was laughing in the moon’s white light.” Like Dylan’s, “Hurricane,” the song gives a damning narrative of racism, mob mentality and political corruption. Turning to Chicago blues and a more optimistic topic, Jones and company assure us that, “We Are Gonna Make It Through.” The lively piano and funky guitar underscore the message of hope. “Shine,” echoes the positive sentiments and Chicago influences. Adding a dash of Memphis soul flavor, the band continues sending good vibes on the horn-punctuated, “Everything is Going To Be All Right,” and the gospel tinged, “Midnight In Harlem.”

Displaying power or showing vulnerability as needed, Jones’ voice breathes heartfelt life into these songs. Part Susan Tedeschi and part Ann Wilson, with an occasional hint of Janis Joplin; Jones moans, emotes and entices like a sultry siren of the blues. That voice really comes to the fore on the torch song stylings of, “Love Me Just The Way I Am,” the jazz noir take of Willie Dixon’s, “Insane Asylum,” the fiercely tender ballad, “Oxen Cart,” the Piedmont blues of, “This Light of Mine,” and the modern angst blues of the title song. It seems the slower the tempo, the more space Jones’ voice has to expand. But at any speed, Stacy Jones and her band are every bit as hot as a “World on Fire.”  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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