Live Club Review From Music Connection Magazine!
This review was published in the August 8-15-06 / 8-27-06 issue of Music Connection Magazine. It's a review of our July 8th 2006 show at Paladinos in Tarzana. It was a pretty good night all around. I played loud, utilized whammy abuse and Billy and D.J. played liked The Godz of Hell Fire.
Material: Oscar Jordan & The Sons of Hercules perform original high-end blues that is funky and soulful with a modern, contemporary twist. The songs have a sound that is current, but steeped in tradition, without copying it note for note and lapsing into total nostalgia.
Musicianship: Jordan is a full-throated blues-belting artist with an emotionally charged voice. Shades of Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana and Jeff Beck are interwoven throughout the numbers and reflect the bands stylized, diverse approach that qualifies the sound and title of the groups latest CD, Eclectic Soul. Jordan makes ample use of effects when playing guitar, utilizing a distorted tone, some wah-wah, and reverb to mix it up. The leads are very clean, electrifying and super fast. Jordan offers blistering guitar solos with laid-back jams co-existing next to the more heightened moments of the show.
Performance: This great power trio was like a band of brothers picking up individual cues and each others vibe onstage. Jordan allowed the music to speak for itself and gave his appreciation to the audience. Bassist McDonald amicably spoke to the crowd conveying that he hoped the energy of the summer heat would transpire through the bands performance. Drummer Stix was smiling good-naturedly while pounding away on his kit, hitting the cymbals with one drum stick while twirling another in the air.
Summary: Oscar Jordan & The Sons of Hercules perform well-executed material that leaves the audience feeling satisfied. This is a blues act that is on fire and should be checked out by industry looking for something in this genre.
Top Finalist in the 2004 Blues Idol Contest!
"Voted as one of the top unsigned bands in Los Angeles of 2005!
Music Connection Magazine
"Oscar plays guitar like he's bringing a gun to a knife fight."
Dan McCann Bassist Extraordinaire
"If you like blues, Motown, and in your face rock & roll, then you're going to love Oscar Jordan."
Music Connection Magazine - April 11, 2005 Issue
Material: With a blusey style that contains hints of funk and soul, Oscar Jordan and his ensemble transport us to other times and far off places in rock & roll's history. The result is a classic sound that is timeless and satisfying.
Musicianship: These players are smokin'. Jordan's gravelly voice, natural feel and frenetic guitar playing are the initial reasons to come to a show, but the rest of the band will keep you there. Lane's classic keyboard work is a secret ingredient to this act's sound. Yamamoto and Umemoto add sheer power and an energy level that is contagious.
Peformance: This set was a mix of standards and originals. All the tunes crackled with personality and ranged from laid-back groove jams to more energetic, fast-paced wailers. Overall, the set was lively and upbeat as the band members came together and pooled their chops to showcase the man in front.
Jordan was funny and came across well when he addressed the crowd between songs. He knew how to keep them in the mood, and his own mood was obvious as he made love to the audience through his instrument. Indeed, the whole band seemed to be entirely in it's element.
Summary: Some kinds of music seem fated to break ground, while others serve to reinforce what we already know about our music, our culture and history. Oscar Jordan and his band are part of the latter category. It's harder to quantify, but it's as valid as music that is considered cutting-edge, and sometimes more so, because it's part of what we imagine when we hear the soundtracks to our own lives. Real blues is an emotion, not just a genre, and Oscar Jordan's band seems to know that instinctively. They get kudos for being part of something larger than themselves.
Chicago-to-L.A. transplant Oscar Jordan offers a triumphant second album that brims with the varied influences of soul, funk, gospel, Latin Rock, and even Psychedelia. More specifically, Jordan wags his brim at Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Jeff Beck here, and it's no small compliment that his aim is, for the most part, true. Jordan is a guitar wailer in the classic sense, working with a fat, powerfully distorted tone dappled with dabs of wah and acid-washed in reverb.
He's also a full-throated blues belter, but he never oversells his songs, and that's good. Blues-rock is a genre given to cliche' and faux angst, a deadly combo thankfully avoided here. Jordan keeps it simple, his simmer punctuated by blistering solos and gorgeous multipart harmony vocals. The production is first rate - punchy at the bottom and clear as a bell up top. The bass/drum duo of Randal Yamamoto and Nick Karvon keep things anchored with inventive, lively playing, while keyboardist Alex Lane covers piano/organ beautifully. The harmony vocals are exceptional, owing to the presence of Terry Evans.
Jordan doesn't have the chops of his heroes, though he can rip. "You and I" is a direct Santana cop, but it's sincere, heartfelt, and lovely (and welcome, with Carlos now exiled to MOR duets with bony underage foghorns). Jimi Hendrix's "Up From the Skies" gets an update on the slinky, wah-laden "Be Cool," while the ballad "Hendrix T-Shirt" is a paean to an essential wardrobe item, with an appropriately sceaming solo from Jordan.
The most overt gospel nod is the album's centerpiece: The salty "I Liked You Better When You Were Drinking" is an over-the-top under-the-tap lament with guest vocalist Karen Dilworth, who boasts a singularly expressive tone. Near the end, the tune erupts into a driving gospel chorus. It comes off as sincere and authentic, much like the rest of Eclectic Soul. Jordan's one to watch.
Southland Blues Magazine October 2004 Issue
The funk groove has a reserved place in jazz and blues. Oscar Jordan sings it downtown and backs up what he's saying' with an assertive guitar that sets the night on fire. When driving hard and pumping up the volume, he's on top of the world. Backed by bass and drums and a choir of backup vocalists, he interprets twelve originals that express the blues tradition, as well as providing contemporary thrills.
"Rough Neck" and "Be Cool" take things nice and slow, with an emphasis on the interesting stories that Jordan has created. Actions and words don't mean the same thing," he pleads convincingly. "I Liked You Better When You Were Drinking," sings guest vocalist Karen Dilworth, with the band providing a hearty accompaniment. Oscar Jordan and The Mighty Sons of Hercules provide a solid foundation throughout the album. The soulful grooves found in such places as "Like a Lover Should" and "You and I," are where Jordan and The Mighty Sons fit together cohesively in natural harmony with a contagious rhythm that captivates your soul.
A Throwback To '60s & '70s Rock Albums
Guitar Nine Records
Oscar Jordan & The Mighty Sons Of Hercules have released Eclectic Soul, an incredibly diverse CD full of, well, good music. Make that great music. Jordan is a gifted guitarist and vocalist who has thrown convention to the wind and poured a passion for the blues into a stew with other styles, such as rock, jazz, Latin (check out the Santana-like "You And I"), funk, gospel (listen to "I Liked You Better When You Were Drinking"), R&B - you name it. Each cut is as different from the next as you might imagine - almost a cool radio station playing "all Oscar, all the time". Inspired by the rock albums from the '60s and '70s, where stylistic diversity was celebrated and admired, Jordan has taken that idea and run with it. Eclectic Soul, true to its title, is designed to appeal to people who love the attitude, soul and passion of blues, rock and gospel music blended with a fiery and soulful guitar and a emotionally charged voice - isn't that everyone?
Guitar Nine's Undiscovered Artist for August 2004!
Bargain Basement Reviews
Oscar Jordan & The Mighty Sons of Hercules: Contemporary Blues with Awesome Talent
Music Connection Magazine
What did the critics say about Mister Bad Luck?
"Perfect... Every track on this CD is super fine Blues... The finest debut I've heard in years... A Blues Classic."
- Real Blues Magazine
- Living Blues Magazine
- Blues Access Magazine
- Blues Revue Magazine
- Ed Archer, KPFK Radio Los Angeles
- Jim Santella, Southland Blues Magazine
- Midnight Rider , BumpNGrindRecords.com
- DocBluez' Blues Lounge
- Valley Scene Magazine
Copyright 2006 - Oscar Jordan