December 1, 2021

JOHN PAUL KEITH – “The Rhythm of the City” – perfect car music

WILD HONEY RECORDS February 19th 2021

Pure rock and roll soul sounds make this a timeless set of tunes and one that keeps finding itself on my playlist.

John Paul Keith’s fifth album is an attempt to meld all the different sounds that have come from Memphis, from the Elvis-ish Love Love Love to the deep soul of Stax. Every time through, I hear another tip of the hat to someone or a smidge of influence strong enough to taste. I hear flavours of John Lennon playing rock and roll, Gene Vincent doing a walking blues with rhythm sax, Jeff Lynne’s way with a tune, Al Green’s heartfelt vibes, and a love for the soulful blues.

In ‘I Ain’t Done Loving You Yet’ I hear big pop in the style of The Travelling Wilburys; in ‘How Do I say No’, a powerfully sweet ballad; in the title track a soul number sees a late-period Beatley progression to the end of the chorus; in ‘If I had Money’ a ripping good fun strutting blues that seems timeless. Nothing stolen, nothing borrowed, just colours from the musical palette used in a new painting.

John Paul can crunch out a face-gurning blues solo, play twangy guitar, orchestrate horns and backing choruses – it’s a consummate performance that keeps bringing me back for perfect car music, pop music, soul music.