Jake Andrews

Time to Burn

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Like many Austin musicians, Jake Andrews is a child of the blues, but he's also the child of John "Toad" Andrews, who played with Mother Earth in the '60s. That gave him an edge in the cutthroat music business, but it's just as likely that the reason why he secured a record contract at the age of 19 was the fact that teenage blues prodigies were a hot commodity in the '90s. Ever since Jonny Lang and Kenny Wayne Shepard, other labels were clamoring for their own hot shot, and Andrews was well-suited for the part, since he can play and has a weathered voice that sounds much older than 19. He also has a tendency to veer away from straight-ahead blues, favoring blues-rock, as well as the occasional soul song. Clearly, his biggest influence is fellow Texan Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose big, blustery guitar tone and throaty voice provides the template for Andrews' debut Time to Burn. While Andrews isn't nearly as developed or as skilled at emulation as SRV was on his debut, he is considerably younger and his technical acumen is something to behold. However, Time to Burn suffers from the same problem that plagues albums from young bluesmen: it's impressive on the surface and even quite enjoyable, but it's not particularly nuanced or deep. Depending on your view, that may be a minor thing, since Andrews keeps it rawer than Lang and he already shows signs of branching past SRV-styled blues-rock and developing his own style. It may be a fairly conventional '90s blues-rock album on the surface, but Time to Burn nevertheless does announce the arrival of a guitarist who has the potential to become one of the leading lights of Texas blues-rock, once he matures a bit.

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