Blues Underground Network
JP Soars "More Bees With Honey"
JP Soars first trip to the International Blues Challenge was in 2007 as part of the David Shelley and Bluestone band, which managed to make it to the Top 10 that year. Two years later, JP Soars, now with his own band JP Soars and The Red Hots, made another trip to the International Blues Challenge, which was hot off the heals of winning their second straight South Florida Blues Society competition, and in fine fashion they took home top honors. In addition, JP Soars also received the Albert King Blues Guitar award, which sealed the deal, that this Arkansas raised artist was now considered among the elite blues players of the day. Now with his second release "More Bees With Honey", JP Soars and The Red Hots show us that their talent is no flash in the pan and as his name implies, he really Soars, when it comes to the Blues.
"More Bees With Honey" consists of 13 Tracks and besides showing off JP Soars amazingly gifted Guitar work, it also shows he has an immense talent as a songwriter, as well, with him penning 10 of the Tracks himself and one which he "provided new music behind the words of Baby Face Leroy’s, Where’d You Stay Last Night". For the covers on "More Bees With Honey", they chose "The Hustle (Is On)", a H.E. Owens song and "Sweet Blood Call" a song by Louisiana Red.
In addition to JP Soars and The Red Hots, which consists of Chris Peet on Drums and Todd Edmunds on Upright Bass and Tuba, yes I said Tuba, they had 8 other great artists joining them on "More Bees With Honey", which included Robin Rogers whom sang vocals along with Gullermo Lojo on the opening title Track "More Bees With Honey". Other powerhouse performers on this album included Terry Hanck (Tenor Sax), Sax Gordon (Tenor Sax), Jason Ricci (Harmonica) and David Shelley, from David Shelley and Bluestone doing Percussion on Track 5 "Doggin''. Donald "The Cougar" Gottlieb (Electric Bass), and Travis Colby (Piano/Hammond Organ), rounded out this amazing lineup of talent.
"More Bees With Honey" is an absolutely wonderful album with something new and interesting around each corner, which includes everything from hard driving boogie woogie found on Track 9 "Twitchin'", to the raw backwoods acoustically driven Track 11 "They'll Do It Every Time". This is of course due to JP Soars love of all styles of the blues, which he doesn't mind mixing with other styles, including a little Jazzy feel, when it is right. His choice of instruments is also varied and includes Ukelele, Acoustic, and a Two String Homemade Electric Guitar, which is pictured on the cover of his CD.
When I first listened to "More Bees With Honey", something that really caught my attention was JP Soars vocals, which to me sounded similar to Dr. John, with perhaps a little more gravelly sound. This great sound of his was perfect throughout the album, and especially so on the longest Track "Chasin' Whiskey with Whiskey", which beyond his vocals, he also showed us all, in no uncertain terms, why he received the Albert King Blues Guitar award in 2009. Also amazing on that Track was Jason Ricci's searing Harmonica work. A fantastic Track and one of my favorites, on this album.
Absolute uniqueness is really the name of the game concerning "More Bees With Honey", despite the fact you will find similarities to others throughout this album, it is JP Soars gentle twists which make his style of music, all his own. From the opening Track "More Bees With Honey", which initially sounded a bit like the Blues Brothers just before they would come on stage, to the closing Track "Where'd You Stay Last Night", a Track that JP and gang virtually lit a fire under and burned down the house with, this Album Hook, Line, and Sinkers you from the beginning and just doesn't let you go.
JP Soars is one of those great young talents whom really is no longer on the horizon, as he proves with "More Bees With Honey" that he is now clearly in view and a force to be reckoned with.
"More Bees With Honey" is great stuff and one I really highly recommend. One of this years best...
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
1. More Bees With Honey 3:36
2. K.Y.N.O.M.B. 4:55
3. So Many Times 4:28
4. Hot Little Woman 2:47
5. Doggin' 6:27
6. Back of My Mind 3:07
7. The Hustle (Is On) 3:40
8. Lost It All 5:21
9. Twitchin' 3:10
10. Sweet Blood Call 4:28
11. They'll Do It Every Time 5:17
12. Chasin' Whiskey with Whiskey 7:02
13. Where'd You Stay Last Night 4:12
Listen To Samples Here...