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The debut album from Jonathan Peyper is sure to make you sit up and take notice of this young blues phenomenon…

Peyper’s album stems from very real and painful personal experiences and this clearly reflects in his work. The words of a man scorned…Luckily he still manages to focus his energy on the technicality of his music rather than make it a melodramatic lyric driven album.

His rhythm section comprises of Chris van der Walt and Jason Hinch. This project has granted them the opportunity to showcase a whole new side of their musical ability. They move away from the edgy dirty sound we often associate them with when they play for The Black Cat Bones. They opt for a smoother sound that perfectly complements Peyper’s skillful playing. Jason’s jazz background is fully used to his advantage as he cleverly combines it with his more rhythmic bass driven style. A mark of a true musician is when he is able to effortlessly move between genres and utilizes the best of each to his advantage.

Chris certainly does not hold back and ensures he is not completely overshadowed by the guitar magic that surrounds every song. He adds a distinct groove that you soon realize becomes much of the backbone of the album.

It is definitely not necessary for me to illuminate Peyper’s superior playing abilities. He easily stands his ground next to the likes of Patlansky and Frost as a real guitar heavyweight. What really grabbed my attention was his carefully thought through solos. Often guitarists hide behind smoke and mirrors and simply apply excessive scratching and whining along with some staple odd time signatures. But there is a certain genuine feel when it comes to Peyper’s showcase.

Queen of Clubs is certainly my top pick from the album. It is extremely catchy and just the right amount of romantic to not make me want to gag. Then of course there is the acoustic track, Close to Home. And that’s exactly where the song hit. When I heard the track for the first time I was balling my eyes out by the last strum, and I don’t even know why! It is tender and technical at the same time and it really hits you where it matters. Wherever that might be. A universal work of genius!

This is an incredible starting point for any young artist but I know he has still not reached his full potential. Peyper needs to break through a roof he has set for himself. The album might be a great listen but it seems a little safe for such a tremendously talented group of musicians. This makes me all the more exited to see what the future holds for them!

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