There’s something about that old blanket you’ve had forever that you pull out when it gets cold…the feel of the material, that smell, the way it lays just right on you and leaves you safe and warm in its embrace, leading you to sigh, smile and say something like “they just don’t make them like this anymore.” Well, like a musical version of that blanket, there’s something very familiar, well worn and comforting that comes through when you listen to brother Bryce Janey on his latest release, Game Of Life, featuring 11 tracks of 100 proof bluesy bliss infused with his smoldering guitar and vocal stylings.
They really don’t make them like this cat anymore…an authentic and consummately accomplished Son of the Blues, playing his beat but sweet road-worn strat, soulfully telling his life stories through a smooth and sweet gravely rasp and conjuring stinging and soulful mojo out of his instrument like a voodoo priest casting spells at the crossroads in the middle of the night. The opener “Down Home Blues” sets the stage with a pulsing swamp foot groove, soaring slide work and single malt-smooth vocals, laying the blueprint for the rest of this rock-solid outing.
Bryce covers the ZZ Top classic Waitin’ For The Bus and the Allman Brothers Come And Go Blues with aplomb, actually giving the distinct impression that these versions predate the originals. That may sound like blasphemy, but one listen proves the point…Bryce truly makes them his own as he works out hard and digs in deep on each with sweat, attitude and confidence. Killer.
The set continues with the standout title track, Game Of Life, which anchors the entire disc beautifully in terms of feel, delivery and message, highlighted by a soaring “future retro” backwards guitar intro that adds spice and character and also features some very cool musical twists on this classic Janey-ized groove as the tune turns around and leads out. Flying High On Your Love seamlessly morphs a back beat shuffle verse with a Hendrixian-tinged chorus…an unexpected stylistic innovation that is wickedly cool. The closer Faithfully caps the disc perfectly with Bryce lamenting “It’s the game of life you play / I must carry on / I will sing my song / I must be strong / faithfully” interspersed with his heartfelt and emotional lead breaks throughout this wonderful piece. Ahhh…perfect.When you need to pull out that old, familiar blanket of the sonic kind that’ll always make you feel good, throw Game Of Life on, crank it up, lay back and enjoy that good and worn-in old feeling once again. I think you’ll find that once this one’s in rotation, it’ll never come out.
The Game of Gratification
Stretched out on a poolside lounge chair, gazing at the beautiful Lake Chapala and the surrounding mountain ranges under a clear blue sky, soaking up some eighty-five degree sun rays, is only one part of how I started each day of vacation in this quaint little town of Ajijic, down in Jalisco, Mexico. The other involved initiating a soundtrack for the day on my beloved iPod. My very first listen of Bryce Janey's Game of Life CD happened to be the first music I listened to early in the morning on my first day of vacation. I enjoyed this album so much that listening to it first thing each morning became a part of my daily routine. No doubt Janey has definitely one-upped himself again, making Game of Life his best album to date.
"Down Home Blues," the first selection, whisks the listener into the album like a steam engine rolling full speed down the tracks. A blues history lesson all wrapped up in one song, this one is powerful and authentic. What a great way to set the tone of the rest of the album. Janey gets funky on the title track, "Game of Life," dishing out some psychedelic blues Hendrix-style as he sings about the sometimes abrupt harshness of reality and the comfort of tapping into one's dreams. Wrapping up the album, "Faithfully," a soulful and emotional song about commitment, heartbreak, and hope. I found this one to be one of the most interesting songs due to the layered guitar sounds which built up to a climax at the end.
Author - Philip Smith (Blues Revue Mag) (2.12)
Bryce Janey has an elegant way of making a record. This is very nice on the ears and it moves you right to the core. Bryce has some whiskey soaked vocals and his playing is fantastic. My favorite on the record is MEDICINE MAN which is a cover of Johnny Winter. Absolutely excellent. He pays homeage to Robin Trower on the track IN THIS PLACE. I rate this five-star and it adds depth to my music collection.
suprise suprise!, ..February 9, 2010..
This review is from: Blues In My Soul
Blues and blues-Rock! It doesnt matter Bryce Janey has it big time.This is the first disc I heard/picked up by him.Its his first grooveyard record cd and man its a great one.I cant quite put to words the sound here.Its very bluesy, heavy,great tone on the axe for sure.
Another thing is his vocals. It didnt hit me until the end of the cd when he covers Robin Trowers In This Place that he is a dead on ringer for James Dewar in the vocals department.However I cant say the cd sounds at all like a Trower cd, so he certainly is his own man here.I wish I could do a better job reviewing this cd because I find it so appealing to listen to over and over. If you like your blues in that hendrix style then this wont dissapoint.