The Way Down Wanderers + John Jenkins and The James Street Band Venue: Grateful Fred @ The Atkinson
Town: Southport Date: 06/12/17 by Peter Cowley
Traditionally, the last Grateful Fred’s of the year has a party atmosphere and so it was tonight when we were treated to an awesome performance by Chicago’s “best emerging act”, the high-energy bluegrass band The Way Down Wanderers ,ably supported by Liverpool singer songwriter John Jenkins and his 5-piece James Street Band.
John opened the evening with a fine set drawn [mostly] from his excellent new double album “Window Shopping In Nashville” ,which was recorded earlier this year ,using notable session musicians, including Scott Poley, Chris Howard and Scott Whitley.
John is a well-known figure on the Liverpool music scene , having been a member of The Persuaders and Come In Tokio. His music can best be described as melodic , country-tinged rock and this was well-received by the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Grateful Fred’s audience.
One of the highlights of John’s album is “I Was Looking For You” ,which he co-wrote with none other than Chris Curtis of The Searchers ,with whom John worked in the local tax office!
However, my favourite performance of tonight’s show was a superb version of the album’s opening track , a cracking country-rock number called “Silhouettes” ,which featured a wonderful duet with the amazing Megan-Louise ,who is surely a country star-in-the-making.
John has the knack of being able to combine melodic, catchy tunes with meaningful lyrics ,as shown on his performances of “Same Thing Every Night” and “Get Her Out My Mind” and he and the band earned a well-deserved encore , finishing on an optimistic note with “Some Day We’ll See Better Days”.