Jackdawg - Jackdawg


Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When I received this CD for review, I had no clue who Jackdawg was or where in the world they came from. Based on the somewhat lackluster album art, I assumed it was some college jam band, making the rounds and trying to make a name for themselves. After all, it’s not every day that you get a record that features the band members’ names on the cover. That’s sort of an old school thing to do…which probably should have been my first tip-off that not all is what it seemed.

Thankfully there was a little bit of history and explanation within the album booklet and it turns out that these guys are actually a sort of “lost” super group. If the names John McFee, Stu Cook and Keith Knudsen don’t immediately ring a bell, how about the Doobie Brothers and Creedence Clearwater Revival? John and Keith were members of the former, while Stu was the bassist for the latter. This CD is a collection of songs that they recorded during a period from the late 80’s into the beginning of the 90’s.

So there’s your rock history lesson for the day. How’s the album itself?

All in all, it’s not too bad. It’s nothing that you haven’t heard before (at least if you grew up listening to rock from the 70’s and 80’s. The production is clean and the songs are nicely done, but the mix is a little thin sounding. The drums have the same over-produced, almost electronic feel that a lot of the music from the 80’s possessed. But on the whole, it’s about an hour of pretty good radio rock, with 13 original numbers and 2 covers.

If anything, Jackdawg almost sounds like a lost record from Huey Lewis and The News. The intro to “Kisses In The Rain” sounds almost identical to “If This Is It,” while the song has doo-wop vocals that are also strikingly similar. I’m not accusing them of plagiarism or anything like that (as these guys obviously have their own claim to a solid rock n’roll pedigree). I was just shocked at how much it reminded me of Huey and his crew.

Check this out if you’re a completist or simply curious about a new chapter in oldies rock.


Jeremy Hunt
Review by Jeremy Hunt
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