Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
Putting on a double A side can be like finding an oasis filled with your tipple of choice whilst lost in the desert and noticing that the spa hotel next to it is handily free to use on the day you get there, coupons supplied. It is in the knowledge that the music is so strong, so concise, that the sheer act of division is impossible and that both tracks stand out fully and with disarming smiles attached to them. If it is good enough for The Beatles to achieve then surely any musician worth their salt must at least attempt to do the same.
When that double A Side features not only John Jenkins and That Sure Thing but the very delicious talents of Paul Dunbar and Steve Thompson, the oasis could be seen as taking on extra employers, for the whim of the music fan is more than satisfied, it revels in its own delight and good fortune.
The two songs, Louisiana Is Calling and Sad and Lonely captures not only the sheer determination and hard work that went into John Jenkins stunning album but frames the joy that both Paul Dunbar and Steve Thompson bring to their own sets with their respective bands, The Midnight Ramble and Steve Thompson and The incidents, it is the meeting of three minds across two songs, a triumph of electricity and resolve in following both the album and the other songs that John Jenkins has become renowned for.
The dusky siren call that sits underneath both tracks, the urge to fortify the spirit against all the knocks, heartaches and the call of the derisory musical interlopers, is both fascinating and well placed, it is the product of firm but tender tenacity and the music betrays the love that emanates, especially in the voice of Paul Dunbar, whose sanguine ability brings that Southern Belle charm that the state of Louisiana is noted for, unnervingly to life.
Double A Sides are always worth involving yourself with, if the artist believes that much in the song’s abundant strength, then why should the listener not feel the same. A high mark of song-writing, John Jenkins and That Sure Thing resonate in the only way that music from Liverpool can, with class.
Both tracks available from usual digital shops and John Jenkins’ web site at www.johnjenkinsmusic.com
Ian D. Hall