· THE JANEYS - Get Down With The Blues (GYR113) ·
::T R A C K S::
FORMAT: Audio CD / Wallet
Awesome 3rd studio disc by this excellent blues/rock band from Iowa featuring the amazing Father/Son duo of BillyLee & Bryce Janey on guitars. Includes 11 tracks (63 mins.) of bad-ass, hard-hitting, powerful, blues-based heavy guitar rock mojo that lands down solid between a rock and a blues place. Like Father, like Son, both BillyLee & Bryce Janey dig deep on their six string axes and totally kick our asses on this way-kool, blues-based, heavy guitar boogie train. Kicking hard out of the gate with "Beginnings", a killer Hendrix jam and ending the disc with an outstanding version of "Third Stone From The Sun", complete with an excellent selection of other premium grade, killer, blues/rock riffage/jams that dominate and complete this amazing dual guitar jammin' six string ass kicker, The Janeys definitely rock the guitar joint and "Get Down With The Blues".
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· reviews ·
It has always been a pleasurable treat when Billylee Janey and Bryce Janey join forces to play as The Janeys. With Get Down With the Blues, their third studio release playing together, they continue a family tradition of producing outstanding blues. Accompanying the talented father/son team is bassist Dan ‘DJ’ Johnson, and drummer Eric Douglas. Also joining the crew on four tracks with his Hammond organ is Tommy ‘T-Bone’ Giblin.
Get Down With the Blues opens strong and closes even stronger as the Janeys cover Jimi Hendrix’s “Beginnings” on track one, and serving up a very cool rendition of "Third Stone From the Sun" on the last track. I love the dual electric guitar sound riding atop the percussionary bus driven by Douglas on “Beginnings”. Billylee and Bryce trade licks back and forth as if fighting it out in a psychedelic guitar-centric ‘Thunderdome’. I consider “Third Stone From the Sun”, the dessert at the end of the meal. I just want to close my eyes and listen when it comes on. Johnson and Douglas keep the trance-friendly rhythm going while the Janeys totally let loose on their guitars. This one is the crème de la crème.
The Janeys offer up quite a soulful rendition of “It’s Not My Cross to Bear” from the Allman Brothers Band’s self-titled album. I like the way it witfully ends with the closing riff from “Whipping Post”, also from that same Allman Brothers album. Giblin and his Hammond, gives this one authenticity. Still on the subject of covers, I have to smile when I hear “Mind Bender”, the classic ditty from Stillwater about a mind-bending guitar whose father was a Gibson and mother was a Fender (that’s why they call him Mind Bender). The Janeys also nail down “The Good Love”, a track from Johnny Winter’s Second Winter album. Bryce’s deep vocals fit this one very well.
There’s some really nice originals on the album too. I really like the slightly unsettling track, “When the Devil Comes Out to Play”. It has a retro Seventies Blues Rock vibe and just the right amount of fuzz. “The Rose” is another one that made me perk up and take notice. Marinated in a big bucket of Southern Rock, I hear a definite Allman Brothers influence running through this one.
The Janeys scored big with the appropriately titled, Get Down With the Blues. This collection of Blues Rock is a sweet blend of deep covers and interesting originals.
Phillip Smith / Philly Cheeze Blues (December 2013)
The Janeys, "Get Down with the Blues,” is a must for guitar enthusiasts. This consummate CD offers down-home family blues -- alive and electric -- from the father and son guitar team, Bryce and BillyLee. For their third outing, the Stratmasters show that family chores can be a labor of love, as they offer up a delectable and heart-rending combination of originals and well-chosen covers. Especially noteworthy are the two Hendrix tracks -- "Beginnings" and "Third Stone From the Sun" -- for although Jimi had dug deep into the jazz idiom for these two unusual classics, the Janeys bring out the tunes' bluesy rock dimensions, giving them a flavor that is characteristic of the Janey touch. This disc contains over an hour of blistering guitar blues-rock, played as it is meant to be played. The Janeys are one of a kind!
Steve Rosen - Author (December 2013)
The Janeys are the father and son team of Bryce and Billy Lee Janey. While we have reviewed Bryce Janey’s work previously, we have never discussed his father though, who has been playing and recording with various outfits since the early ’70s. Team the two of them up together on Get Down With The Blues and here you get Bryce’s gritty, passionate vocals and first rate guitar work along with his father’s solo guitar work.
A Hendrix cover of the instrumental “Beginnings” which was actually released after Hendrix’s death heavily overdubbed by other musicians in the studio start things off. The only original part of the track was Hendrix’s playing. As a result, it is an often-overlooked Hendrix gem, which is covered very well with the dual guitar attack of Bryce and Billy. After that excellent opener, we get the fast-paced original rocker of “Led Balloon,” followed by a cover of Johnny Winter’s Texas Shuffle “The Good Love.” Next we get the title track “Get Down With The Blues,” which is featured on BRR4 and is a track that showcases what the The Janeys are all about – blues based dual guitar rock that puts both of their talents to work and lets Bryce’s unique voice shine. Two more originals, the love song “The Rose” and the rocking “It’s a Guitar Thing” fill the space until the next cover. “Mind Bender” is a cover of the ’70s Southern Rockers Stillwater and is the story of a trip to a pawnshop where the singer stumbles across a talking guitar. The solo work when the guitar is talking must make use of a talk box effect to carry on the conversation.
We are then treated to an excellent cover of the classic blues “Hoochie Coochie Man.” “When the Devil Comes Out to Play” is a southern rock track that has an underlying rhythm that drives the song along. We finish things out with two more covers, including the instantly recognizable Allman Brothers song “It’s Not My Cross To Bear” from their debut album, which while not the most well known track off of that album is a hidden gem. Then we close things out how we started with an intense cover of Hendrix’s instrumental “Third Stone From the Sun.”
From the covers on this album you can clearly get a sense that The Janeys are old school early blues rock sound in the style of the late ’70s southern rock and Hendrix style. They deliver this sound with a heavy dose of excellent guitar playing and some killer covers mixed with outstanding originals.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
- Get Down With the Blues
- Led Balloon
- It’s a Guitar Thing
The Big Hit
- It’s a Guitar Thing
Kevin O’Rourke / Blues Rock Review (December 2013)
The Janeys are an excellent blues rock band from Iowa. The band was initially a family thing with thirteen-year-old Bryce, his father BillyLee on guitar and his mother on drums. Father and son both have also developed a successful solo career but they have always remained loyal to The Janeys. Both BillyLee and Bryce are virtuosos of the guitar. Mom doesn't play with the band any longer and "Get Down With The Blues" is the third studio album by The Janeys. It contains eleven songs of which the duo has written five. The other six songs are covers but with ownership. The other musicians who play on this disc are all the same as on Bryce Janey's newly released solo album, "Burning Flame". Only there is now an extra man, namely BillyLee Janey - two brilliant guitarists who will bring on the "Get Down With The Blues" fireworks without a doubt.
The album begins with the Jimi Hendrix cover "Beginnings - the two guitars complement each other perfectly. This beautiful gem of Jimi is a perfect kick-off by Janeys. The follow up is a handsome blues rocker "Led Balloon" which begins at once with a fat screaming guitar. A tight and very good sounding rhythm section with Eric Douglas on drums and Dan DJ Johnson on bass accompany Bryce and BillyLee in a fine manner. The guitar remains peerless and Bryce has a really raw and powerful voice to sing these numbers. The Janeys know the musical path they tread and have carefully chosen their songs. Take "The Good Love" by Johnny Winter. There is no better song in the repertoire of The Janeys this song fits. The driving rhythm with bass and drums is obviously an excellent breeding ground for father and son to let loose their skills on their six-stringed instrument. Tommy T-Bone Giblin can be heard in the title track "Get Down With The Blues". Yet again the fierce guitars of Bryce and BillyLee get all the attention. Father and son can write songs about love, it's just not sugar-sweet songs. Just listen to "The Rose". The song has a lot of Southern blues in it and reminds of The Allman Brothers. Subtle Hammond by Tommy Giblin, great percussion by Eric Douglas and deep bass lines of Dan Johnson give this song a wonderful solid foundation. The powerful voice of Bryce and the two guitars together make the song complete. The Janeys know exactly what it is about as the title of the next song is "It's A Guitar Thing".
In 1977 the band Stillwater had a big hit with a song about a talking guitar. Who does not remember the words, "My daddy was a Gibson, my mom was a fender, that's why they call me mind bender." This "Mindbender" is the new album "Get Down With The Blues". The version of The Janeys is perhaps a little more polished than the original. A wise decision, because the result is much better to me. The following cover "Hoochie Coochie Man" is a classic blues song by more than half a century old. It was written by Willie Dixon and first released in 1954 by Muddy Waters. It's one of those songs that have been covered countless times but this one is better than most covers. There is another very clever duel between the two guitar virtuosos. Tommy T-Bone Giblin makes a sublime contribution with his Hammond. More than seven minutes it takes this very pretty song. Dan and Eric create a strong, driving rhythm of "When The Devil Comes Out To Play". The Almann Brothers cover "It's Not My Cross To Bear" is sung by Bryce masterfully. The Hammond organ by Tommy T-Bone Giblin is the whole song there. It is wonderful to hear solos on top of the warm sounds of the Hammond. The album ends as it began with an instrumental of the legendary Jimi Hendrix. "Third Stone From The Sun" is pure class. Lovely how Dan DJ Johnson touches his strings and how Eric Douglas continues that great rhythm on his drums. Bryce and BillyLee let themselves go completely for the last time in their grandiose guitar playing. Beautiful ending to an excellent album.
"Get Down With The Blues" is a well-chosen name for this fine album. This collection of solid blues is a right mix of well-chosen covers and strong songs. Fans of the guitar are well catered by the class of Bryce Janey and BillyLee. This album is a must.
Walter Vanheuckelom / Rootstime (January 2014)
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