Soulful, funky, in your face. That’s part of JD3’s appeal (they’re also known as The Jondo Trio). There are also definite threads of Southern rock and swampy blues running through the band’s sound on their new release, Scraps from the Borderlands.
Two records in, Nate Mosley and company definitely know their way around a studio (and a stage). Four years after releasing their eponymous debut, JD3 finally let this new album out of the gate. The long gap wasn’t for lack of inspiration, however. Mosley suffered from, as the band’s press release puts it, “a nearly fatal battle with oral cancer.” Recovery was one thing; the prospect of ever hitting the stage again was iffy at best. And recording a new album was an even more daunting challenge.
Nonetheless, a “mostly recovered” Mosley – along with drummer Paul Osborn, bassist Stu Way and newly acquired horn player/keyboardist ChrisDafforn – persevered. You don’t need the back story to enjoy Scraps from the Borderland, but knowing what it took to make this record happen makes it sound all the richer.
You notice intent in the drive and attack that power “Jesus Walk” and the opener, “Dead Man Walkin’.” The unstoppable “Heaven Sittin’ Down” barrels along like a freight train steered by The Fabulous Thunderbirds, while “Ain’t No Grave” grooves with authority atop a beefy slide guitar. “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down,” Mosley sings on the tune, with the aplomb of a preacher. “The Lord Will Make My Way Somehow” heads into Gospel territory, with a funky backbeat and a vibe that recalls the best of mid-/late-period Elvis.
Spirituality is woven into JD3’s material, and the bluesy, R&B-flavored arrangements complement the lyrical content perfectly – it’s a whole package anyone can dig into and savor.
As this 4-piece “trio” rolls along, let’s hope they’re able to share more scraps with us sooner rather than later.