Jack Grace Band- What A Way to Spend a Night review


Every year I find that I’ve missed a few very strong albums that were sent to me for review but for whatever reason (excuse) I didn’t get to write about. So I try to rectify the situation buy writing a few capsule reviews before the previous year is too far in the rear view.

2021 saw plenty of roots music for us writing sorts to pontificate about, and I did more than my share. Here is an album that I missed:

Jack Grace Band What A Way to Spend a Night JackGrace.com

A trans-Atlantic collaboration, Jack Grace Band’s latest was written and recorded in Cambridge, England and features two natives of that community (Fabian Bonner, bass and Ian Griffith, drums) collaborating with New York’s Jack Grace. Going back 20+ years, Jack Grace has been writing, singing, and producing albums within the (broad) roots world, and while none of those releases had reached me, What A Way to Spend a Night caught my attention.

So why didn’t I write about it upon release this past summer? No idea, but I’m guessing I felt the ‘right’ words weren’t coming to me. Reminiscent of folks like Otis Gibbs, Johnny Dowd, and Dave Moore, Grace doesn’t appear to be predisposed to performing a single type of song in a prescribed manner. He allows the song to determine its course, and he therefore performs in various ways across this interesting album.

Sometimes earnest (“Broken Melody” and “Chinatown”) at other times theatrical (“I’m a Burglar”) and elsewhere straight-ahead troubadour on a stool (“Nobody Brought Me Nothing” and “You’d Be Disappointed (If I Didn’t Disappoint You),” Grace imparts his songs with charm and vision.

FYI, Grace’s previous release was produced by Eric Ambel and featured Norah Jones on the striking “Bad Wind Blowing.”

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