HANS ROTENBERRY & BRAD JONES: Mountain Jack (50 Ft Records)
Rotenberry and Jones conjure both the Everly Brothers and the Posies circa Failure in this mostly acoustic set delivering material that is both fresh and familiar. "Count On Me" opens the set with a warm mid-loping pledge of faith with characteristic Rotenberry chords and voice, which sounds like a nicely rounded piece of butterscotch. Jones sings lead on the hook-laden acoustic "A Likely Lad." "Froggy Mountain" sounds like a Rotenberry comp in the chords and fleet guitar work as well as McCartney circa White Album, no more so than when Rotenberry throws in a minor chord hook that snaps your head around like an Anderson Silva punch. You can practically hear Shazam playing these songs.
"Next to You" has a "Rocky Top" feel. "Ain't Gonna Hurt No One," sung by Jones in faux drunk sounds like something Scott Miller would do. "Greef" opens with chiming Midwest power chords before edging into Rolling Stone territory in the soaring Beggar's Banquet era chorus. "Buffalo Daughter" has an epic, CS&N feel to it.
Rotenberry and Jones have created a powerful low-key winner that draws you in with inventive songwriting, beautifully layered vocals and some hot guitar licks.