Jake Andrews Jake Andrews

Hungry for a fresh shot of blues firepower? This 22-year-old wunderkind is one album closer to being the new messiah so sorely needed in the wake of Stevie Ray with his second release. However, this child prodigy comes by his new blues heritage honestly. The young Jake - son of guitarist John (of Tracy Nelson's Mother Earth) - was weaned on Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran records, and with a guitar in his hands by the age of four, had shared a stage at Antone's with no less than Albert King by the ripe age of eight. European tours and recording stints with Long John Hunter and Grey Ghost helped hone his chops before releasing his first record by the age 18. Andrews openly praises the blues for its soulfulness but unconstrained by them he adds elements of country, jazz and rock'n'roll to his hard-edged contemporary sound. Standout tracks include "They'll Never Know," which clubs you over the head with its Arc Angels-like muscle and overall groove, while "The Bitter End" is ablaze with testosterone-driven, inspired leads. His vocals prove ineffective at times, if not outwardly weak on such tracks as "Matters of The Heart," however. Yet there is no denying the unrelenting intensity and high calibre of the guitar playing across this record's entirety, and Andrews may yet define the next wave of Texas blues royalty. (Antone's)