RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Jon Herington – Time On My Hands
Wise Axe Inc

www.jonherington.com

Rating: B

Jon Herington has performed as a guitarist with some pretty famous people.  Steely Dan, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs are a few of the guys who dig his playing.

In addition, this New Yorker also has a band of his own, appropriately titled the Jon Herington Band.  The band consists of Dennis Espantman (Bass, Vocals), Frank Pagano (Drums, Vocals) and Jon on guitar and vocals. There are also contributions on this album from Donald Fagen, Jim Beard (Steely Dan), Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule) and Rob Morsberger.

So, it’s easy to see Jon is well liked, talented and pretty damn special.  He’s been Steely Dan’s touring guitarist since 1999.  So, he’s got chops, too.  The million dollar question then is, why don’t more people know who he is?  There is no simple answer.

Jon’s music is classy.  He plays with classy people, and he writes classy music and he plays with finesse, is obviously a musical perfectionist and he’s totally passionate about music.

His solo efforts are so clean and perfect that they are a tad sterile for those who like a little bit of sloppy persona in their music. Keith Richards is like a bit of extra hot sauce in the chili.  It makes it spicy and adds to the overall dish.  Too much and it is over bearing, but too little and while good, it just doesn’t stand out as much.

This is a solid album of jazzy, bluesy, perfectionist rock music.  Guitar purists worship this guy.  Jimmy Page fans think he’s a tad bland.  He knows this, and adds some fuzz here and there, but it comes across as ‘80s era Bruce Springsteen safe.

Hmm, this is a hard review to write because if you’ve read to this point, you may think I am not a fan.  I am, but I hear, or rather I WANT to hear more edge.  That’s what made Steely Dan so special.  They are musical virtuosos, but they don’t play it safe.  Jon could be a little more daring.

Still, there is some fine songwriting and geetar playing on this sucker.  The guy knows what he is doing, and he proves it on tunes like “Shine Shine Shine,” “Sweet Ginny Rose” and “The Bucket Song.”

If you think the solo on “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” by Led Zep is the best thing in the world, then Jon’s music may not turn you on.  If you love perfection, true note-perfect perfection then you gotta check this guy out.  He is a damn fine musician and you will be in awe of what he has accomplished. 

Next time, maybe he could just put a touch of slop in there…somewhere….on a solo or two…you know…to make it dangerous! But if that goes against all he believes in, he could get Ace Frehley or Neil Young to add a few solos…

By Jeb Wright

 

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