Jon Herington Solo Songs: Gimme Five

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If you’ve seen guitarist Jon Herington on stage with Madeleine Peyroux; the Dukes of September supergroup featuring Donald Fagen, Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald; or with Steely Dan, then you’re well aware of his talent as a guitarist. Now, let’s delve into some of Herington’s best work as a band leader …

“KERNEL OF TRUTH,” (PULSE AND CADENCE, 2008): This instrumental, originally found on 1992’s The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and rereleased on Pulse and Cadence, demonstrates Jon Herington’s jazz composition and arranging chops. The song builds sonically as Herington paints with broad strokes, incorporating saxophone, expansive keyboard washes and tight, jazzy drumming. Herington’s guitar is perfectly integrated in this soundscape.

“SHE REMINDED ME OF YOU,” (SHINE, 2010): Accordion, honky-tonk piano, crying in your beer lyrics? This is Jon Herington? Yep, this little gem showcases Herington’s writing chops, pleading vocals and his arranging. It also has a nifty guitar solo. No, it’s not “Kid Charlemagne” but it is great.

“VALENTINE’S DAY,” (LIVE: THE JON HERINGTON BAND, 2013): Originally featured on Herington’s 2000 release Like So, this version — perhaps recorded in 2011 — finds Herington playing solo acoustic. Even stripped of the electric guitar and Herington’s fine backing band, “Valentine’s Day” still shines with its expressive melody and heartfelt lyrics. Simple and effective, it’s a perfect showcase for Jon Herington’s writing and vocals.

“I AIN’T GOT YOU,” (TIME ON MY HANDS, 2012): What’s not to love about this gem? Herington weaves his tale of woe so well, while the band lays back almost behind the beat — creating a rhythmic tension. Herington’s guitar propels the song over the top, and a splash of Hammond B3 adds a little spice. It’s blues/rock perfection and grace, with a perfect and humorous stop time thrown in for dramatic effect.

“CAROLINE YES,” (LIVE: THE JON HERINGTON BAND, 2013): This version smokes like an old blues player. Herington’s long term band of Dennis Espantman on bass and Frank Pagano on drums lays down a shuffle with wild abandon. Not to be outdone, Herington rips off a solo on his Gibson SG like nobody’s business. This is the good stuff and, if you live on the East Coast, perhaps you can catch Jon Herington on tour later this month.

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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