Lloyd Jones

Highway Bound

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Except for the harmonica that wafts through "Ice Cream Man" and "Lazybones," Lloyd Jones restricts the music on Highway Bound to what he can sing in his grainy tenor and what he can fingerpick on his guitar. That guitar is an acoustic for the most part, though he breaks out an electric for "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" (with slide applied) and "Cry for Me Baby." So, this is Jones' version of the folk-blues, and he plays it well. He is not so concerned with being authentic that he slavishly copies earlier versions of these familiar songs. For instance, he snatches back "Good Night Irene" from the folk and pop stars, but in doing so retains the Weavers' adaptation of it, so that he sings "I'll see you in my dreams" rather than Leadbelly's original "I'll get you in my dreams." But there is never any question about Jones' abilities or his sincerity. The world may not really need new folk-blues versions of "Key to the Highway" or "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor," but Jones renews the quality of the songs in his masterful renditions.

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