“The blues is number one ladies and gentlemen,” might be all that fans of Jon Spencer hear whenever his name gets uttered. No matter what the project, Spencer has always been a force behind whatever he’s doing, whether it be with Boss Hog or The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. However, now he’s got a new solo record out and he’s announced a pretty hefty tour beginning in 2019. And while Spencer Sings The Hits isn’t JSBX, it’s not a far cry from it either.
When your vocals and your guitar are unmistakable, it’s difficult to discern what differences lie between the projects that you do. Spencer isn’t re-inventing his wheel here, but he’s not playing Blues Explosion throw aways either. These are new tracks with that lo-fi gritty note that JSBX employed so heavily on their earlier releases.
The greatness of this album lies in the grimy and warbly notes. Tracks like “Trash Can,” “I Got The Hits,” and “Beetle Boots” all offer up that speedy and uptempo sound that Spencer throws into his way back machine and makes his own with ease. Though it’s the slower songs where the difference between his past and his present lie. The garage rock murmurs of “Overload” offer a foot tapping jam. The murky guitar and almost techno infused sounds of “Ghost” give you chills as Spencer takes his time getting to the raucous chorus. And the funky smutty tones of “Hornet” show that Spencer can still mix things up. While yes, these songs will remind you of Blues Explosion, it’s definitely Jon Spencer throwing new tricks into his bag.
You can stream Spencer Sings The Hits on all streaming platforms, you can purchase it in all digital storefronts or directly from In The Red Records. Jon Spencer and the Hitmakers will be on tour starting January 11 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia until February 20 in Ebisu, Japan at Ebisu Liquid Room. A complete list of his tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by TONIOMODIO.