Sometimes an album just fires on all cylinders: singing, songwriting, instrumentation and engineering. That’s precisely what Jack Broadbent has achieved with his fifth full-length album.
For his jumping-off point, Broadbent runs the gamut of American music, from flat-out rock; to good-time shuffle; to New Orleans jazz and Louisiana swamp; to pre/postwar blues and beyond. Then the British guitarist runs it all through a rock-and-roll prism, opening up the throttle and creating a spectrum that’s sure to please even the most discriminating connoisseur.
Singing in a tenor somewhat reminiscent of Chris Youlden (late-1960s Savoy Brown), he sweetens the pot by frequently busting out the slide solos — and it’s pretty obvious he counts Lowell George and Jeremy Spencer among his influences.
The title track and “Who Are You?” are most impressive, with their original and modern presentation enhanced by midpoint tempo changes. What a way to bookend the album!
Broadbent was gracious enough to answer a few questions for Good New Music via email.
GNM: Is this your first album with a full-band sound?
JB: I’ve always had accompaniment on my recordings, I like having the chance to stretch out a little more in the studio. I usually play a lot of it myself. On this record my father (Micky Broadbent) plays bass guitar, along with Mark Gibson on drums. I’ve really enjoyed being able to focus more on the guitars, vocals and the writing.
GNM: How did you hook up with Mark Gibson?
JB: I’ve been spending time in Quebec, Canada, over the last few years and I met Mark very organically at some local music nights. Me and him really hit it off musically and decided during the pandemic to do some recording. The new album (“Ride”) is the result.
GNM: Would you say there is more non-slide guitar on this album than on your others?
JB: Quite the opposite, there is a lot of slide. It’s definitely more rock ’n’ roll than my last few albums. I’d say there is a healthy dose of everything on this record.
GNM: Were all of the songs on “Ride” written on the road?
JB: The majority were written either on the road or during the early lockdowns, when I had a chance to sit down and assess what I wanted to work on. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to complete ideas when you are touring. This album had enough time to breathe before I recorded it.
GNM: Name a few players you consider to be slide-guitar contemporaries.
JB: I don’t really listen to many other slide guitar players, mainly out of a desire to not want to accidentally emulate anyone else’s style. That said, there are some wonderful players out there.
2. I Love Your Rock ’n’ Roll
3. New Orleans
4. Hard Livin’
5. Midnight Radio
6. Baby Blue
8. Who Are You?
Total time: 34:25