JAWBONE is a new London-based blues/rock quartet named after a song by The Band and features accomplished musicians Paddy Milner (keyboards, vocals), Marcus Bonfanti (guitar, vocals), Rex Horan (bass, vocals) and Evan Jenkins (drums, percussion). The band members have a wealth of experience between them and have played with big names such as Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ten Years After, Van Morrison, Robert Plant and Dave Gilmour. In January 2018, Jawbone were chosen to back Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Tom Jones at Paul Jones’ epic charity show at G-Live in Guildford, which garnered the band rave reviews from both the artists involved and the capacity audience.
Milner and Bonfanti first began writing together at Milner’s house in North London, where the two created the songs that would eventually become the collection of songs that make up this ten track debut album. Jawbone tracked the songs live at State of The Ark Studio in London, it was mixed in New Zealand by Nick Portman and mastered in Devon by Star Delta.
Album opener ‘Leave No Traces’ gets my attention straight away with a piano glissando and smoky sax. An easy laid back beat gives way to engaging, crisp vocals with a delicious slight raspiness, ripe for singing along to; “Heaven doesn’t want me and the devil doesn’t know who I am”. The softly tinkling keys, and ridiculously catchy “hey, hey, hey!” are already enough to ensure that this first song remains firmly in my head. ‘Get What You Deserve’ is an upbeat blues track with a driving drum beat powering the song along. It has a multi-dimensional feel with harmonic vocals that sound exhilarating together with all the instruments layered underneath. It makes for a sophisticated song. Listening through headphones and being able to pick out each instrument right down to the drum fills sounds incredible.
‘When Your Gun Is Loaded’ is a timeless, unashamed out and out country/southern rock ballad, complete with whisky-soaked vocals, softly singing guitar and heartfelt lyrics.
‘Family Man’ is one of those tracks that will have you tapping your feet and nodding your head at the very least, before the first bar has even finished. The subtle, introspective verses and more ballsy choruses make for a striking contrast. Each track on this album tells a story, and this is no exception. ‘Bet On Yesterday’ really showcases the keyboards, which gives me the opportunity to really focus on what exceptional talent Milner has, the playing really is sublime. So much so, I was concentrating on the piano so much, I found it quite difficult to concentrate on the rest of the track.
‘Rolling On The Underground’ is more of a classic blues/rock song with a melodic, danceable beat, and I imagine has gone down very well on the recent run of live dates across the UK. Things continue in the same vein in ‘Big Old Smoke’, which has a rock feel and is robust and raunchy. ‘Sit Around The Table’ is a flawless slower number and has a really positive message, “I know you’ve outgrown this place but it won’t forget you...come on and sit round the table, pull up a pew, let’s laugh at our problems, let’s laugh til they’re through. When we’re sat round the table, time stands still, let’s share our problems, like we share the bill”. I really like it, it’s my favourite song on the album.
The atmospheric ‘Two Billion Heartbeats’ is full of richly textured and delicate guitar riffs, focussing the spotlight on Bonfanti’s masterful fretwork.
‘The Years Used To Mean So Much’ is a harmonious, soulful way to round off the album. The band members’ vocals blend together beautifully, and the instruments are arranged perfectly.
Jawbone’s eponymous debut album is crammed full of well crafted songs that showcase their effective storytelling and accomplished musicianship. As individual musicians they clearly have talent and the band have created an album that feels organic and effortless.
‘Jawbone’ track listing:-
1. Leave No Traces
2. Get What You Deserve
3. When Your Gun Is Loaded
4. Family Man
5. Bet On Yesterday
6. Rolling On The Underground
7. Big Old Smoke
8. Sit Around The Table
9. Two Billion Heartbeats
10. The Years Used To Mean So Much
Paddy Milner - keyboards/vocals
Marcus Bonfanti - guitar/vocals
Rex Horan - bass/vocals
Evan Jenkins - drums/percussion
Find out more here:-
Official website: www.jawboneband.com