Jerry Lightfoot

Better Days

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Yes, it is the same Jerry LaCroix from Edgar Winter's White Trash; this is the man who sang "Save the Planet" and "Turn on Your Lovelight," the same man who recorded several hit albums as lead singer of Rare Earth and toured as singer for Blood, Sweat & Tears at the urging of Clive Davis. The one and only blue-eyed-soul man Jerry "Count Jackson" LaCroix has teamed up with Texas guitar virtuoso Jerry Lightfoot to produce an album filled with rock & roll, boogie-woogie blues, soul, and spark.

The soulful blues on "My Dyin' Day" include some of the best vocals and guitar work, and the piano of Pee Wee Stephens is just the right seasoning to add to the flavor of this Texas-Louisiana gumbo. On "Down on Bourbon Street," Jerry Lightfoot proves that he himself is no slouch in the vocal department, rocking through this Little Feat-inflected rocker. Throughout "Better Days" there are soulful vocal exhortations from LaCroix and blistering guitar solos from Lightfoot, who also contributes excellent songwriting, as he does on the title track with its lyrics: "Here's to better days/And stepping down from the masquerade/Of this dog eat dog world that we have made/Where the only surprise left in store is when anything surprises anyone anymore." "Always Sometimes" has the Gram Parsons feel down to a science; thought-provoking lyrics, great melody, and Lightfoot's excellent singing make this a great song. And right on the heels of that one comes the rocking R&B of "The New Old West of Texico, New Mexico Breakdown," featuring LaCroix on vocals again, packing a punch like a heavyweight boxer. "God Don't Like It" comes out of left field to close the album with old-fashioned gospel-blues about the evils of moonshine whiskey, featuring Lightfoot on dobro and MaryAnn Price on lead vocals. You might hear a better album this year, but that's doubtful, and you won't hear a record packed with more variety and soul, guaranteed.

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