What's It Gonna Be (180g Vinyl)
20.00 €(1 piece(s) = 20.00 €)
All or nothing. For Laurence Jones, it’s an easy choice. In recent times, the hotshot British bandleader has barely stopped for breath. There’s been the release of 2014’s all-conquering second album, Temptation. The triumphant Blues Caravan tour that saw him raise roofs across Europe. The auspicious nod to represent his country at this year’s European Blues Challenge, and the prospect if his performance at the Albert Hall for Lead Belly Fest in June. At this juncture, a less passionate artist might cool their heels and count their royalties. No chance. Saviour of the British blues scene is not a position for part-timers, and in 2015, Laurence is back with his stunning third album, What’s It Gonna Be.
What’s It Gonna Be. Now there’s a question. If you’ve followed the 23-year-old’s journey so far, from his roots as the hottest guitar gunslinger in Stratford-upon-Avon, through his 2012 breakout with Thunder In The Sky, to his rise with Ruf Records, you might have an inkling of the qualities that will be found on this third album. There’s gonna be white-hot fretwork. Vocals with power and soul. Songwriting that grabs you by the collar. Released in 2015 on Ruf Records, What’s It Gonna Be gives you all of the above. But it gives you more, too, pushing the bandleader’s talent further than ever before.
The album sessions might have gone down at the Headline Music Studios in Cambridge, but as a career-long road-warrior whose songwriting antenna is always up, Laurence was channelling inspiration from across the planet when he started tracking in January 2015. “Last year,” he explains of the album’s backstory, “I had the experience of touring around Europe with the Ruf Records Blues Caravan. I got to explore ten different countries and I enjoyed conversations, laughter, smiles and tears with some wonderful people. This album is a collection of emotions and memories from that time.”
Just as Laurence’s tour schedule winds all over, so the light-footed tracklisting of What’s It Gonna Be keeps listeners on their toes, offering tough blues-rock to delight the hardcore fans who were onboard from the first riff of Thunder In The Sky, and enough curveballs to justify the words of the Classic Rock Blues Mag, who raved over “the one-time golden boy’s coming-of-age”.
Label boss Thomas Ruf once cited Laurence’s rare status as an ‘AAA’ artist (“which means ‘A’ guitarist, ‘A’ singer and ‘A’ songwriter”), and there’s plenty of evidence of all three attributes on What’s It Gonna Be. On standout cuts like Don’t Need No Reason, Touch Your Moonlight and All I Need, the bandleader’s growing maturity as a songwriter is writ large. When he burns across the frets on the title track, you’ll celebrate the birth of a new guitar-shop moment. Elsewhere, Evil’s rollicking blues-with-attitude confirms his power as a lyricist and owner of a voicebox beyond his years. “I didn’t want to write about the same old boy-girl relationships,” Laurence notes, “because a lot of pop bands do that. I write stuff that people can really relate to.”
The road doesn’t just provide inspiration. As a direct result of that frantic tour diary, Laurence’s musical performances have never been sharper than on What’s It Gonna Be, as he locks in with the core band of bassist/co-producer Roger Inniss, drummer Miri Miettinen, keys men Jools Grudgings and Lewis Stephens, and backing vocalist SJ Mortimer. Plus, get your autograph books out for a pair of VIP guest vocalists, in the form of New York belter and Ruf labelmate Dana Fuchs, who runs riot on a cover of “Can’t Get Enough”, and Sandi Thom, who brings chills and thrills to her duet with Laurence on Don’t Look Back.
The studio lineup might have changed since last year’s Temptation, but there’s no doubt that it works. “It’s got a lot to do with feeling,” says Laurence of the band’s dynamic chemistry at Headline. “If you listen to bands like the Rolling Stones, their music just seems timeless. It seems like they could have done it yesterday.”
Right now, it’s 2015, and the third album from Laurence Jones has arrived. It’s gonna be a talking-point. It’s gonna be a smash-hit. It’s gonna be the release that pushes the young bluesman ahead of the gunslinger pack and into the orbit of the songwriting greats. Looks like he won’t be stopping for breath any time soon…
What's It Gonna Be
Don't Need No Reason
Touch Your Moonlight
Don't Look Back (feat. Sandi Thom)
All I Need
Good Morning Blues
Can't Get Enough (feat. Dana Fuchs)
Set It Free
Stop Moving The House