Continuing my new-found love for Blues and Rock music, indie band The Ragged Jubilee bring about just that with their genius debut full length record, American Moan. The six man powerhouse hails from San Luis Obispo, and powers up the spirit of The Black Keys, Devil Makes Three, Bob Seger, Queens of the Stone Age, The Doors and several other musicians all at the same time.
Its honestly hard to believe that this is the first major venture by the boys, as I feel like this album is ripe for the picking for Sons of Anarchy with renegade anthems like Just A Little Blood and even more so with songs like Rhythm. I’ll put it this way, it is the second album on my guaranteed albums of the year list, and we’re only half way through y’all.
My first favorite off the album is the first track, Blood on the Highway, with explosively powerful vocals from front man and guitarist Ethan Burns. I call bullshit if you don’t think that he sounds just like Bob Seger in that Chevy commercial. I really wish that the Grim Bastards Motorcycle Club from Sons of Anarchy was real, because this would be quite the song to roll up to, complete with that mid-mayhem pause at 2:50, reminiscent of several Queens of the Stone Age tracks.
Track four, Just A Little Blood keeps the energy high throughout the mid album mark. Drummer Aaron Wick adds that non-Blues powerful drumming that gives the band that extra edge to set them apart. This is most balanced of the songs, with sizzling and sustained organ work by Daniel Grivjack, a wild acoustic intro by Austin I‘Anson (I think?) and perfect Banjo harmony by Philip Wahl. My favorite part is at the 2:05 minute mark, with a slightly jazzy drum and keys parlay thrown in the mix.
Track ten, Mississippi was the most fun song overall, with a catchy-ass chorus, and several jam segments throughout. Bassist Chandler Jacob keeps the vibrations steady, after which he switches to an ill sitar session accompanied by the bongos and ethereal sounding instruments, before coming back for a powerful finish in an echoing chorus.
For the country\blues\folk lover in you, this album is a must. Above all, the production quality is pretty damn good for a band on their first run major run together as a band. As I said, top ten albums slot is a for sure, so I suggest you get yourself a copy and appreciate the hard work of these guys. Also, if you want a taste, download yourself a copy of our latest indie sampler!
Until next time my friends,