John Spencer Blues Explosion at The Iron Horse – MA

Photos and Review by Paul Bloomfield
Show photos HERE
On tour with and opening for John Spencer Blues Explosion is Brooklyn-based blues trio Daddy Longlegs. Bringing an entertaining brand of psychedelic and soulful blues, they performed to a receptive crowd at the Iron Horse, and proved to be a great prelude to the main act.
Vocalist and guitarist Jon Spencer has led JSBX since the early 90s, with Judah Bauer on guitar, and Russell Simins on drums, and their sound is still honest and palpable. Rooted in the underpinnings of rock n roll, the blues, their punk, hip-hop, urban and industrial sounds course through the veins of JSBX. The experience was visceral: the set at Iron Horse built steadily a force of purpose never wavering. Incredibly on task, the band left little respite between songs. The raw force of the band pulled the audience into their gutsy fusion of vocals, guitars, and drums, yet Spencer employs a fourth instrument: the theremin. This device, dating from the 1920s, allows Spencer to modulate pitch and volume without physical contact. Like a shaman weaving his hands directly channeling energy and transference, he entered a trance-like state. The sonic ambience travelled in waves through the audience.
I found myself lost, and wanting more. In the encore, the band came on full charge and ended their set as just as they had started. When asked about whether he uses a set list, “ I’ve never used one,” Spencer replied. There is an inescapable scrutiny for performers in an intimate setting, such as the Iron Horse, and there is no doubt these guys play with conviction. If music is about connecting to people, JSBX delivers it unfiltered.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *