“Stone Cold” by Old Man Jack

Rhythm can make or break a crossover track like Old Man Jack’s “Stone Cold.” In a situation where artists decide to tackle a composition as multifaceted as this particular release from the acclaimed underground blues-rock outfit is, a groove can define the entire mood of the melody, even though it contributes nothing to its tonality. In “Stone Cold,” Old Man Jack is meticulous, efficient, and delicate with their distribution of beats; centered on an instrumental harmony, this single is perhaps the tightest and most streamlined look they’ve adopted to date. Here, rhythm is given the upper-echelon treatment it deserves and courtesy of a band of players who deserve a heck of a lot more credit from the media than they’ve been given thus far.

BANDCAMP: omjhardrock.bandcamp.com/track/stone-cold

The bassline in this song grabbed my attention from the jump. There’s a textural expressiveness to its presence in the master mix, and while some of Old Man Jack’s closest competitors on the mainstream side of blues might have taken a slightly different approach to this aspect of the track, I like this as it is. By adding just a dash of excess to the pot where most would have stayed conservative, Old Man Jack establishes themselves not only as individuals but as rebels who aren’t interested in playing to the beat of anyone else’s drum.


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It’s much easier to blend in with a crowd than it is to make a unique statement, and in “Stone Cold,” this act is choosing the latter path.

Almost every element in this single feels remarkably polished. There’s a glistening on the main guitar part that feeds into the opulence of the bass and drums yet maintains some space to be the center of our attention at the right moment. The arrangement adds a churning to the overall rhythm of the music that simply wouldn’t have been here having they not been presented to us with as glossy a mastering as they are. Whether it be the structure of the beat or the tonality of a specific instrument, every part of “Stone Cold” is designed to stir a reaction out of casual observers and hardcore fans alike, which isn’t something that I would be able to say about any of the tracks I’ve reviewed out of the indie blues world as of late.

APPLE MUSIC: music.apple.com/us/artist/old-man-jack/1676674228

Although I just recently got into the music of Old Man Jack, I can’t wait to hear more of their work after taking a heady sip from the challis of grooves that is “Stone Cold.” There is no shortage of hybridity on the international music scene in 2024, but among the blues players that I’ve been following recently, this is some of the most original and deep-feeling content I’ve come across. The next few months are gearing up to be a very big time for independent musicians around the globe, and if this is just a taste of what Old Man Jack is going to be offering up in the months ahead, I think they’re going to have as good a season as any of this business’ best will.

Chadwick Easton