Jocks Juke Joint Vol 2

So, there’s a second volume of Jock’s Juke Joint (imaginatively titled Jock’s Juke Joint Volume 2) available for your listening pleasure. Why, you may be asking yourself, has it come so soon after the first one? How are they finding acts to fill it? Is it just a cash in? All valid questions, in a world where the compilation has become the norm, where people will buy Now That’s What I Call Music 8,006 because they’re so scared of hearing anything their ears haven’t heard a thousand times on TV or radio. Why do we need another compilation of Scottish blues music?

Well, the answer is clear from the moment you slip the disc in your CD player. There wasn’t enough space on the first volume to cover the depth of talent that makes up the blues scene north of the border. Somehow the curators of this musical collection have found another selection of great music to share with us. The same caveats apply as to any compilation of music, the songs were not conceived to work together as a single record, styles and recording methods are often wildly disparate and there is almost too much choice. 

It’s with some joy that I can reveal that the greatest of care seems to have been made with regards to song choice, pacing and style in order to give the disc a palpable sense of flow and wholeness. It’s a real achievement with a compilation, and something that should be a justifiable source of pride. 

What is also excellent is that, somehow, the acts and song here match if not exceed the excellent volume one in quality and variety. It seems that Scotland is the new delta, and with a little something for everyones taste, from the acoustic goodness of the Binsness Bluesboys, the cool sounds of Baby Isaac, the stunning shuffle from the 4 Als and soulful blues rock from Wang Dang Delta it really does offer something for all of us with even a passing interest in blues. 

Whether you like all the tracks is going to be very much up to you. With the compilation offering something for everyone it could just as easily offer something that displeases, but for me there’s nothing that stands out as a disaster, of course I prefer some tracks to others, but then I do that with albums by single acts, not just compilations. There are no clunkers, nothing that stands out as being of lesser quality than the rest, and with the excellent ordering of tracks and leveling of the pressing it’s a journey around the regions talent that you really should take.

It’s a great compilation, and if you have a blues fan in your house this would make a great gift. The world does need another compilation of Scots blues, because on the evidence of this, one CD couldn’t cut it to lay out the talent on it’s own. This is a great disc, for me it eclipses volume one, and is a definite must get for anyone who even has an inkling of liking blues