Jamie McLean’s been around the block a few times. Having toured with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aaron Neville, and Brett Dennen, and recorded sessions with Norah Jones and Chuck D, the guy knows his way around a guitar. On his third solo release, One And Only, McLean dives into a roots rock that’s hard-hitting and uplifting; a big LA sound with Midwestern warmth. As Von, my podcast co-host describes it, “it sounds like it would be a good road trip album. Stays at a decent enough pace to keep you going for a long stretch, and some of the lyrics would lead me to daydreaming about events in my own life.”
Carefree and breezy is not the same thing as lacking substance, as McLean proves. One and Only does something that very few people can accomplish: an album of (mostly) happy songs that actually carries weight. Whether or not you’re in a good place right now, the songs, as Von wrote, can take you to a time when you were. One and Only is full of catchy hooks that undoubtedly make way for blistering solos in live performances. This is the perfect album for a winter thawing into spring, it’ll certainly stick with you into the summer.