Five Horse Johnson, one of the best Clutch-adjacent (as in, this ain’t Clutch, but it’s Clutch-adjacent!) bands going, is back and burning beards with its eighth studio album, out on Small Stone Records. It’s hard to think of another band that’s been playing this heavy, hazy blend of blues-rock for 20+ years—aside from, y’know, Captain Fallon and Company—so I gotta give this outfit its props.
Jake Leg Boogie starts right off with the title track, a two-and-a-half-minute, harp-heavy groovy blues. Apparently, the Jake Leg Boogie is a dance you do on Saturdays, or something. “Magic Man” ain’t got Heart, but it does have soul, sounding a little something like Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Ropes and Chains” has a bit more of a grungy feel, while “Hard Times” has got some righteous grooves from the 70’s—Mountain, maybe?
“Little Lonely” is a swampy blues slog with boneheaded lyrics straight outta the 1950’s. While not as notable lyrically, some of these other mid-paced blues songs tend to blend together. All in all, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.