Review: Guitar Jack Wargo – The New Normal


Guitar Jack Wargo - The New Normal

Guitar Jack Wargo – The New Normal
Format: CD / Wargod Records
Release: 2023

Tekst: Bert van Kessel

LA blues- and soulman Jack Wargo is not a  household name in Europe (yet), although he presents an impressive c. v., having worked with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Ray Charles and Billy Preston, among many others.

This solo album, his 10th, is truly a very listenable record, although the Piet Veerman lookalike never strays far from oft-trodden paths. But his crafsmanship is evident on each of these eleven tracks which mainly comprise traditional twelve-bar blues and shuffles, all deeply drenched in soul. His vocals are convincing and  soulful, his guitar work is snappy and to the point. The good-humored Go ‘Cross Town is spicily adorned with B3 and  enthusiastic horns. The title track is an entertaining and energetic footstomper.

On the second half of the album he bares his soul side more and more and he does so very convincingly, most notably so in the thrilling Let It Ride, with the horns and harmony vocals taking this track to great heights and the emotional More Than You Know.

He pops out as a soul man par excellence and he proves that beyond any doubt on the captivating closing tracks of this highly entertaining album.

01. Outside Looking In
02. Go ‘Cross Town
03. The New Normal
04. Isn’t It a Pity
05. Philco Radio
06. Losin’ It
07. Let It Ride
08. You and Me
09. More Than You Know
10. Same Old Story
11. Stay Strong