Poor Boy’s SoulSelf Produced
If you enjoy the sounds of one-man bands like Ben Prestage or Richard Johnston, you’re more than likely going to like this album from Poor Boy’s Soul. It’s full of that energetic beat so much associated with these type of performers who work kicking a drum with tambourine and steady, often hard-hitting guitar that requires a good deal of coordination and skill to come across correctly. Trevor Jones, who is Poor Boy’s Soul, can certainly rip up some tasty slide guitar that can come across either mournful or genuinely heartfelt. He can show a bit of attitude as well. His bio on his website makes it bluntly clear he is not out to become the next rock sensation, so he has nothing to lose or gain by telling you exactly how he feels. “I finally pulled my head out of the sand, that’s when I finally learned to take my stand,” as he informs us in the song “Nails In The Pine.”
Based out of Portland, fans of local artists like Hillstomp or Rollie Tussing (who recently moved to Michigan) will find Poor Boy’s Soul exactly what they’re after. Jones played metal, thrash and punk music and worked with the band Biketramp before taking on his solo route. He’s also fond of hopping freight trains across country living the somewhat itinerant life-style of so many musicians before him. By practicing this he found it was easier to carry an inexpensive acoustic guitar with him, allowing him to play with and learn from musicians he encountered.
The songs on Burn Down are pretty basic and the playing is downright raw, but it is because of this that makes it so authentic sounding. It’s also very personal. He tells you his views on peoples’ religious beliefs in “Throwin’ Stones,” “You say I'm gonna burn in hell, ‘cause I wont bow to no throne, one thing that I know well, you shouldn't be throwing stones.” The title track, “Burn Down” with its mournful slide guitar uses the visage of the old house as a metaphor for social problems facing us all today. Jones believes in using music as a social outlet and he should as its been a common and useful means of expressing thoughts and ideas for eons. On “54 Ways” the old train sound approach is used, but it’s not really so much a train song as it is a profession of love that’s real.
All of the tracks use the one-man band format save for the final number, “Annalisa,” which is a moving ballad he wrote for his sister. From the lyrics you gather she has lived a rough life, but he looks up to his older sister and let’s her know, “you’re stronger than those demons in your head.”
Although the album is very short, the feel and the emotion are laid bare before you. It comes from within as all really good blues (or any for that matter) music originates. A strong album from an artist to keep your eyes on.
Total Time: 32:21
Burn Down / Movin’ To The City / Nails In The Pine / Throwin’ Stones / Ain’t Comin’ Back No More / 54 Ways / Annalisa
Reviewed by Greg Johnson