A voice like a force of nature. Black, powerful, soulful, bluesy. Everything there. Nevertheless, Jess Roden from the British Kidderminster, who in reality is quite white, remained an absolute insider’s tip throughout his career – which, after all, started in the mid-60s.
He sang with medium successful bands such as Alan Bown, Bronco and The Butts Band, was constantly on tour, recorded albums and singles, worked with stars and superstars and yet: he simply didn’t want to succeed in his big success. Somehow I came across his name. In the mid 70s I bought the second album of the Jess Roden Band “Play It Dirty, Play It Class” – which stayed on my turntable for quite a while. There’s one song in particular that I love most: their rough version of the Temptations classic “I Can’t Get Next To You”. Roden and his experienced musicians deliver a great, powerful Rhythm & Blues song with razor-sharp brass parts and great guitar solo. But the highlight is set by the boss himself: his singing is stunning. It’s hard to believe that a voice like this was reserved only for insiders. Another mistake in the history of music.