John Jackson: Front Porch Blues

John Jackson is a spry 75-year-old bluesman. A Piedmont-styled guitarist and troubador from Virginia, Jackson weaves his warm and engaging folk blues spell on Front Porch Blues (Alligator 4867; 45:00). His unaccompanied acoustic renditions of “C.C. Rider,” “Louisiana Blues,” “West Texas Blues” and Rev. Gary Davis’ chilling “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” all have timeless appeal. And he strikes a particularly relevant note on his own anti-smoking anthem “Chesterfield.”