- Artist: Jack Broadbent
- Album: Along the Trail of Tears
- Country of Origin: United Kingdom
- Released: 2015
- Genre: Blues, Blues Rock
- Available on: Spotify, Google Play, Pandora, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube
- Recommendation by Ian Magnuson
The blues have always evoked an unusual feeling for me. While the music has its customary chord progressions that we’ve come to associate with more energetic rock and roll, at its heart it’s a tortured genre. Deeply rooted in African-American history, it’s rather indicative of the long and difficult journey of the black man and woman in American history. Sometimes deeply painful and sometimes celebrating life’s simplest and most impactful moments, you never know how you’ll feel until you feel.
I really have to stress the contrast that I’m about to make, as I’ve written before, the British have this weird ability to master (or the pessimistic might argue masterfully imitate) truly American musical styles. Perhaps they serve as some fairy-tale like mirror reflecting the best of us, or perhaps it just illustrates the deep cultural heritage we share as countries. Either way, Jack Broadbent, of “rural England” as his website ambiguously notes, has (or at least will likely) joined the ranks of previous masters like Jimmy Page, Mick Jager, and Eric Clapton as those who just “get it”.
Along the Trail of Tears, a title which I have mixed feelings about, is appropriately labeled outside of its historical context. This is the best late-night road tripping album I’ve heard in a long while. My favorite song of the album, and perhaps my favorite blues song not by an American artist, is just so… aesthetic, to use a dead horse metaphor, where you can almost feel the deep south summer heat comfortably being satisfied by an open window drive down a vacant highway.
Finally, Jack is a rather prolific street performer and I’m fairly certain I found this video of him playing in the Amsterdam years before learning of him as a professional performer.
Notable songs: On the Road Again, Far Off Galaxy