John Jenkins is a singer-songwriter who resides in Liverpool and has a number of albums to his name. The James Street Band include Denis Parkinson (guitars and vocals), David Nixon (harmonica, percussion and vocals), Dave Orford (drums and vocals), Steve Atkinson (bass), Lee Warren Shone (keyboards), with Jenkins contributing guitar, keyboards and vocals. As a veteran of many years in the business and different bands, Jenkins knows his way around a studio and this release is testament to his writing skills and his co-production, with Jon Lawton, at the helm.
This release dates back to June 2019 but is only reaching me now – better late than never. The 13 songs are very engaging and the ensemble play with great colour and range, abetted by an additional eight musicians who visited the studio to augment the overall sound (four backing vocalists, plus added instruments like banjo, keyboards).
Roundabout is a great song and instantly recognisable as a wry look at time-pressured couples, holding down two jobs and trying to get by. Ghost in the Bar rocks out in style and the Sam Cooke tribute is just that; a love letter to a golden voice of the past. Can You Hear Me? Is written in memory of his Dad and The Forgotten Man is something that I don’t believe could ever be said of this talented musician who creates easy on the ear, melodic music that never fails to please.
Review by Paul McGee