Old-time blues for catchy modern days
Ones To Watch - Jamie N Commons

Singing vintage husky blues in a fedora hat today can be a dangerous thing. A soul crushing pitfall is that you’ll become a Tesco musician, only bought to be played by Mum on the school run. Jamie N Commons is managing to dodge this cheesy obstacle though with an authentically meaningful songcraft.

“I was raised in a religious family, but my dad was completely atheist,” he begins, “so there’s quite a polarized view of it when you’re going to church and your dad’s not coming and actively laughing at religion while you’re hanging out with church groups. So I guess it’s deep rooted in me.” But he assures us he’s not “pouring through chapters of the bible looking for the light”.

Commons has told us before he want to “push the boundaries of what blues can be”, but what does that exactly mean? “I meant by that that I was trying to make it accessible to as many people who wouldn’t normally listen to that type of music. It seems to be getting a good reception, and not always from dedicated blues fans. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve actually played to crowds of chin-stroking blues men”.

His music comes at an interesting moment, as the market is either saturated with electronic music or run-of-the-mill guitar pop - so what’s his ethos? “I’m not a huge consumer of music in the modern sense,” states Jamie. “If we were in the ’70s I would be considered to listen to a lot of music, but as far as the way we listen to music now...I’ve got different ears. I’m done being angry at the state of music, because it’s the same thing when people’s parents didn’t understand in the ’60s generation.”

An un-cocky, understanding, talented bluesman who writes deep lyrics? Well, there may be a God after all.

Words by Jamie Carson
Photo by Samuel John Butt

Where? London
What? Old-time blues for catchy modern days.
Get 3 songs: ‘The Preacher’, ‘Devil In Me’, ‘Nina’
Unique Fact: Jamie has recently been in LA having recording talks with legendary producer and Def Jam man Rick Rubin.

Jamie N Commons plays at Camp Bestival which runs from 26th - 29th July 2012. Find out more about Camp Bestival.

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