The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Music review: Times Right Now

3 of 5 stars

If you are usually suspicious of white blues artists, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you.

But Durham’s Jon Shain has crafted an album resembling a modern melting pot of rock and jazz that’s also chock full of traditional guitar picking that stays true to the blues genre.

Each track is like being transported to a different region, each one as rife with woman problems as the last.

“Louise, Louise” is a guitar and harmonica version of the traditional duet that seems as impromptu as a front porch performance.

Shift focus onto another song such as “Ooncha Ooncha Music,” and you are slapped in the face with Dixieland horns and ragtime that serve as a perfect score for Shain’s abridged lyrical history of the blues.

Shain is at is his best when he channels his inner Randy Newman and Donald Fagan, bringing wry lines such as, “Remember when you said love, when will you love me too? It wasn’t long ’til I be trying something new” to quirkily emotional life.

There’s a lot to consume on Times Right Now. Sometimes it bogs down due to the constant change in tempos and styles.

But while the lack of continuity may not make for the most cohesive collection, it definitely keeps it from being boring.

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The Daily Tar Heel for December 1, 2021

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