By Ray Hogan
With the success of Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Blue Cheer, power trios were all over the place in the mid-1970s. Kansas City’s JPT Scare Band was likely common to the era, a band fond of long song structures, steaming guitar solos, almost obscene volume and a general penchant of beating riffs into submission. It’s not hard to imagine bands like JPT Scare – drummer Jeff Littrell, bassist Paul Grigsby and guitarist /singer Terry Swope (hence JPT) – jamming in garages nationwide in 1973. More difficult to fathom is that the band was still together and pretty much at the height of its powers when a 2007 magazine article on heavy metal pioneers featured the trio – which helped fuel an already in motion rediscovery.
The somewhat clumsily titled “Acid Blues Is The White Man’s Burden” is a collection of seven tunes recorded between 1974 and 2004, all originals save for a cover of Son House’s “Death Letter.” Not a lot has changed in 30 years and that is to the band’s credit. The same energy and reckless drive is applied to 2001’s “Long Day” as 1975’s “Stone House Blues,” two of the disc’s standout tracks. The best jam comes midway through the disc. “I’ve Been Waiting” (also 2001, although an earlier version was recorded in the formative years) is a template for the power trio format: a killer riff, a vocal that recalls the enormity of 1970s arena rock and guitar solos that build momentum by continually tweaking variations to the main riff. It’s the type of thing Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule would later build their career on.
JPT Scare Band probably deserved a better fate on the first go-around. Still, it’s nearly miraculous that the band is still together and this good to enjoy the renewed interest.
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