It’s often said that music must move forward or die. But genres don’t evolve in a straight line – be they Joe Bonamassa paying homage to the Kings or the country blues of Keb’ Mo’. Jackson Lynch is a traditionalist in the best sense of the term. He doesn’t treat old material like museum pieces, but, in places, his interpretations are so convincing they sound like a 78 record without the surface noise.
Born in Ireland and reared in New York City, Lynch mixes blues, gospel, and early jazz. Though he plays fiddle in the old-timey string band The Down Hill Strugglers, this is solo voice and acoustic guitar. His playing can be rhythmic, but on “Tomorrow Night” he gives a taste of Lonnie Johnson’s single-note style.
Five of the covers are obscure, with the exception of “In My Time Of Dying,” which leans on ’62 Dylan as opposed to Led Zeppelin’s version. He takes fellow traditionalist Leonie Evans’ “Thanks” and uncannily reels the primitive gospel tune back 70 or so years.
As producer, blues guitarist Big Jon Atkinson stays in the control room, helping get perfect reverb, stressing the solitary nature. But a Lynch/Atkinson collaboration down the line sure would be nice.
This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.