It would take an entire separate page to list out the awards conferred upon Jack De Keyzer. He’s deserved every single one of them, but his latest release Blues Thing is absolutely out of sight. Jack’s at the very top of his game on this one, although, as always, he makes it all "seem" so easy, as if he’s simply plucking those melodies from thin air and making them come fully alive with witty lyrics. The opening line of the first song is a harbinger of things to come on this 14-track tour de force: "Music is the food of love.... play on."
Blues Thing covers a wide swath of blues-related genres but at least half fall into a category best called "Urbane Rock ‘n’ Soul" and it’s an area where Jack has preeminent domain. Great musicians are also great actors and Jack knows how to caress a lyric like few others. He’s worldly, but at the same time, there’s also a sensitive side to his musical persona, so while he may get bruised by the vagaries of life and romance, he’s always ready to give it another chance.
Check out "If I Had Your Love," a sensitive moody piece about longing and unrequited love that features a totally convincing performance: heartfelt vocals, stunning guitar work, all surrounded by impeccably arranged horns, courtesy Chris Murphy and Dave Dunlop.
The level of writing has gone up several notches and Jack was no slouch beforehand in the composing field. "That’s The Only Time" is a stunner, superbly executed and as convincing a soul ballad as one could possibly hope for. "That’s Your Love" is a funky thing showcasing Mike Fonfara’s B3 grooves that provide perfect shading to Jack’s always tasteful guitar fills and solos.
"Good Life" has a solid Latin groove and Jack is right in the pocket all the way as his jazz chops really come to the fore on this one. "Miss America" is a street poet’s musical sermon about the fleeting nature of celebrity while "Bills" owns up to the truth that even a successful musician is in a constant struggle to make ends meet.
De Keyzer strikes up an optimistic note on "We Go Together," an unabashed Chuck Berry that crackles with fire and energy. There’s lots more great stuff on Blues Thing, meaning Jack De Keyzer should be dusting off a few more shelves to handle a new set of awards.