Review: Handsome Jack – A Good Thing


Review: Handsome Jack – A Good Thing

Handsome Jack – A Good Thing
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Radiator
Release: 2024

Text: Pascal Wilhelm

I noticed that I repeated the title track of this new album of Handsome Jack over and over again. The song has an insane groove that immediately sets my body in motion. Joe Verdonselli (bass, vocals), Bennie Hayes (drums, vocals) and Jamison Passuite (guitar, vocals) are still rocking on their fifth album full of groovy bluesrock with a southern touch of soul.

Man, I love this. Good songs, good playing (never over the top), nice vocal harmonies and that 70’s sound reminiscent of Grand Funk Railroad, The Black Crowes and ZZ Top. They just make me happy, smile, I feel the urge of riding a motorcycle again, YEAH! Eleven songs on this 39-minute record.

It’s quite a balanced production, guitars are never over the top, vocals are central, and they all sing! Dig that. Production has a slight flinch of Black Keys, but nowhere an attempt was made to sound like anybody else. They’re just what they are: Handsome Jack. Good message, positive vibes, dancing, that great 70’s rock vibe.

As a guitar player, I found one thing intriguing: what is that guitar that Jamison is always holding if you check pics on the net? It looks like a flashy ‘60s Japanese contraption, difficult to figure out. But I think I managed to identify it; it is a 60’s Teisco SD-4L and it sounds great.

I like it when a guitar player picks a guitar that is so distinctive, the model will be connected to him and Handsome Jack forever. Just like the cool Danelectro bass and hollow body models Joe Verdonselli is using. Combined with Bennie on a bare drumset, Handsome Jack is a compact rockmachine.

What fun must they have playing together travelling the world and playing the music they do. Enjoy this record!

01. Wind It Up
02. Tough Love
03. She Don’t Know How to Rock and Roll
04. It’s Understood
05. A Good Thing
06. Sasparilla
07. Turn Up the Heat
08. Five on Down
09. Nobody Left but You
10. Shop Around
11. Rick Danko’s Red Floor