Mountain Jack

Hans Rotenberry /Brad Jones
Mountain Jack
November 16, 2010 iTunes, Amazon , etc…Worldwide


3.5 stars out of 5 (if you need a ranking system…)

by Clay Howard

Sometimes you set out to review a record armed with a bunch of preconceived comparisons- you know: “Brings to mind a melding of the sonic qualities of the White Album with the intricate textures of Quadrophenia…”  This was to be one of those reviews., but something happened as I started to type- I hit play again on Mountain Jack, the new CD from Hans Rotenberry and Brad Jones.

Hans Rotenberry is leader and Alpha Male of Tennessee rock heroes, the Shazam. Over the course of 4 cds and one EP, Hans and company have presented the world with  a tasty plate of songs heavy on the hook. Three of these four albums were produced by Brad Jones, a power player in the world of Nashville recording.  Mr. Jones is also a renowned singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist himself.

In what seems to be a gimme- these two titans of Tennessee have merged forces and recorded a tour-de-force of hook laden, americana -pop, for lack of a better term.

Everything that is good about the work of Hans in the Shazam is present here- great hooks and harmonies- they are just toned down a bit. Acoustic guitars and clean electrics allow the perfectly matched vocals of Rotenberry and Jones to shine. The song writing sensibilities of both men are in top shape-need a sample before buying?  try the ultra-groovy, “Next to You, ” or drinking sing-along of “Puttin’ on Airs tonight.” Adding to the mix is drummer extraordinaire, Keith Brogdon, whose playing is a perfect complement to the songs here- nothing flashy- just steady and right.

I could compare these tunes to a great number of other artists, however , to do so would take away from what is really here- ten real songs played effortlessly and presented to us, the lucky recipients with one guarantee: the need to hit rewind to hear it all again.


About stratoclay
father, husband, musician, employee, writer... in that order

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