Lightnin’ Ray Jackson’s new single off his third album, Somewhere in the Velvet Sky, is out, and a it’s bit of a twist from his former records, which were more classic pop and muted in their overall ambiance. While listening I go back to my early teen years when the Pixies started getting radio play and everyone was all about the lyrics, which had no real discernible meaning but still felt very significant at the same time. The subdued verses and the explosive chorus lines seemed to fit in to everyone’s thinking back then, or maybe I was just an angsty teen in need of an outlet. Hard to say. Specifically, I’m think back to 1989 and Doolittle’s “Here Comes Your Man,” which, much like Lightnin’ Ray’s “Girl,” was reminiscent of what was happening in popular music back in the late ‘60s but adding a new twist to it.
“Girl” is a simple rock song. It’s catchy and fun and when I listen to it I can hear a bit of that not so innocent sex appeal that comes out when a good pop song comes to life. The intro gets you in the mood to bob your head and the intermittent guitar solo is just dirty enough to feel edgy but still clean enough that even your parents might like it. I would even go so far as to say the Righteous Brothers would approve of this song.
Lightnin’ Ray is one of a handful of local Atlanta acts right now that is bringing back what is so cool about rock and roll, which to me are the basic fundamentals of popular music. It’s fun, exciting, catchy, sexy, and I look forward to listening to the rest of his album.
Lightnin’ Ray Jackson will celebrate the release of Somewhere in the Velvet Sky tonight at Star Bar in support of psych-rockers Abby Gogo. Fellow locals Lucy Dreams open the show. Doors open at 9pm. Admission is FREE.