Review by Brandon Watts & Staff
Renowned instrumental guitarist Jason DeGeorge, who is best known for his work with Country sensation Leanne Weiss and recently touring with Kenny Rodgers, has released a soul-stirring version of the Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite’s blues hit “Nothing At All” that Harper has hailed as “A masterful cover.”
The single features DeGeorge on guitar, piano and organ as well as Bassist Mike Klemish and Drummer Chris Badami, who also produced, engineered and mixed the song at Portrait Recording Studios in Pompton Plains, NJ. It was mastered by Grammy® Award Winning Engineer Ted Jensen (Norah Jones, Green Day, Guns N’ Roses) at Sterling Sound in Nashville, TN.
DeGeorge showcases his veteran skills as an instrumentalist in this cover of Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite’s “Nothing at All.” For those that may be unfamiliar with the original, it is an emotive, somber blues record with heavy lyrics. Without a doubt, DeGeorge fully captures the subtle phrasing of the vocals in his guitar instrumental version.
The instrumental opens with a brief bluesy organ setting the mood, followed by the guitar melody played in the instruments open mid-range against an arpeggiated 6/8 piano counter-melody that occasionally joins in unison. Here DeGeorge utilizes a bit of slide to bring out the vocal fluctuations.
In the second verse, the percussion picks it up just a notch as the intensity slowly builds. There is no showing off. The ego is not served, only the song. The playing is subtle, giving each note its' due time and expression. As the melody continues, articulation is at the core of the guitar's interpretation. The warm saturation of the guitar makes for a pristine timbre while mimicking the vocal melodies.
Taking his time, DeGeorge's unique rhythmic riffs draw you further into the song. Mid-way into the song, Jason hovers on the lower bass strings before launching into full and glorious solo played in the upper register unveiling a crying and cascading explosion of emotion. Jason's tactful solo showcases nimble finger-work from his left hand and tasteful use of his whammy bar for a classic blues sound.
Check out the accompanying music video on YouTube to fully immerse yourself in the mood of the record.
DeGeorge says the song immediately resonated with him and he knew he wanted to cover it as it was not a “typical guitar song.” DeGeorge accomplishes what he set out to do in bringing a unique interpretation to "Nothing at All" with a slow-brewing blues solo that erupts in full emotion giving Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite's melody a new instrumental voice that explores the full range of soulful and intense emotional nuance that the song has to offer.
Listen on Soundcloud.
Connect on Facebook.
For more information, visit Jason DeGeorge's website.