Come What May Wizz Jones, Pete Berryman, Simeon Jones Riverboat/Planet Wizz Jones and Pete Berryman were among the unsung heroes of the British acoustic guitar movement of the early 1960s kickstarted by the messianic Davy Graham and disciples Bert Jansch and John Renbourn.
In the company of Jones’s saxophone, flute and harmonica-playing son, these sultans of sixstrings make a belated comeback with Come What May. The result, as might be anticipated given the musicians’ vintage, is more mellifluous than mind-blowing, the mood and modus operandi decidedly nostalgic.
These long-time mates work well together, their singing and playing styles sharply contrasting yet strangely complementary. They ease into the groove with a 1930s opener ( You’re Blase) that evokes wind-up gramophones and sitting room jams. Although it’s self-composed, Poacher’s Moon —a characteristically phrased Jones song that follows a track later — could be a companion piece. The singer’s world-weary delivery adds pathos to a poetic in-between track ( See How the Time is Flying) penned by another longstanding Jones associate, Alan Tunbridge. Jones’s smoky voice also inhabits Moonshine, the title track of a fine 1973 Jansch album.
In a tenor sax-enhanced reading of The Ballad of the Sad Young Men — memorably rendered on Graham’s seminal 1963 album Folk, Blues & Beyond — the septuagenarian hits the high notes with admirable precision. Berryman’s gentler, smoother timbre shines in a title song based on a letter to his daughter.