|Guitar-slinger J.J. Vicars returns home figuratively and literally on his sixth album, Irreverent Dissident. His first release since returning to the U.S. after a decade abroad features his signature hard-driving blues, boogie & rock ‘n’ roll complemented by smoky after-hours vibes and irreverent humor, all tied together by his trademark snarling guitar and gruff vocals. The album flows with the ease and experience of a man who has journeyed far and back, the wisdom of age has J.J. sounding as fresh and hungry as ever.
Irreverent Dissident burns from start to finish in three segments. The opening prelude gives way to a trio of quintessential J.J.V. numbers; the autobiographical rocker ‘Long Way Home,’ a roadhouse rendition of blues standard ‘Wang Dang Doodle,’ and the loping Texas shuffle ‘Can’t Get Along With You.’ Shifting down gear, the second segment moves into the jazzy slow blues of ‘Outskirts Of Town,’ picks the tempo back up with jump jive barn burner ‘Stinky Twinky’ (featuring honkin’ sax pioneer/legend Big Jay McNeely recorded two weeks shy of his 90th birthday) and takes it out with the Texas swing of ‘Downhome.’ A multi-guitar interlude sets the tone for the third and final segment; western swing goes tongue-in-cheek with ‘Things I Need,’ the introspective ballad ‘That Ain’t Me’ hits deep offering the flip side of the autobiographical opening number, and ‘What Do I Tell My Heart’ closes the album on a high note of swinging country optimism.
With Irreverent Dissident J.J. Vicars is supporting a fresh new album that shifts gears like a ’52 Chevy. The common denominator throughout the diverse styles is Vicars’ trademark snarling guitar, gruff vocals, and take-no-prisoners approach.