By Mike O’Cull
Singer/songwriter/guitarist J.T. Loux is here to rock the world with a debut album called Taken by Moonlight and a fired-up power trio that bears his name. Available now, the record puts Loux’s beyond-capable guitar work into a context of strong songs with outstanding vocals. Multi-platinum rocker Frank Hannon of Tesla produced the record and mentored J.T. as only someone with his level of class and success could do. The resulting set of music is rooted deeply in the Golden Age of guitar rock while still blasting off with the energy of a young band living in the present day. Loux seamlessly integrates the primordial vibes of The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors with the influence of modern stars like Jack White, Royal Blood, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age. His skills and ideas are on point and he’s ready to conquer your record collection.
Loux and his band have been playing together since early 2020 and are a high-octane unit that flies in the face of the false narrative that rock music is dead and only made by old people. Loux is 21 years old, himself, drummer Zach Cook is 19, and bassist Ethan Pecha is 22. All three are young lions who have invested their lives in rock and roll and clearly believe that they have their own chapter to write in the music’s ongoing story. Each of them can deliver excellent vocals, too, which gives the group a level of melodic and harmonic creativity that most bands can’t touch at any age. As a crew, they possess the skills and sensibilities of future rock stars and also have the guts required to know they can make the people jump.
From the opening track “Shakin’ Hands With The Devil” forward, Loux, Cook, and Pecha come off organic and alive. The song combines a pulsating Beatle-esque verse with a shuffling chorus and interlocking vocal hooks. It’s a tight, small-band sound that’s neoteric yet built on absolute bedrock. Loux’s octave-heavy guitar break sits perfectly in the pocket and fits the song better than an indulgent flurry of notes ever could.
“Waited So Long” is chilled-out and soulful at first but finds its crunch in its chorus. The vocals are impressive once again and the three voices weave in and out of the arrangement with style and grace. Loux’s guitar tone is stellar, as are his lead and rhythm chops and musicality. His soloing sound here is warm and full-throated, which adds its own layer of emotion to this already-profound track.
Loux’s title song, “Taken By Moonlight,” rolls out an acoustic 12-string beginning that gradually grows in scope with harmony vocals and electric guitars. It’s a cool mid-speed cut with a lot of drama and atmosphere. When it does finally erupt into some heaviness, it fits and makes perfect sense. This one shows a lot of nuance from everyone involved and lets new fans know that this group is more than your average bash-it-out three-piece bunch.
“Kingpin” is an uptempo rocker that’s ready to move any crowd any time. Zach Cook’s drumming is exceptionally powerful here and gives the song the hard kick it needs. Loux burns his guitar down to the ground with energy and aggression, too, putting out some major wattage. Hook him to a battery and could quite possibly power a whole stage. This is great, pumped-up rock music that’ll remind you of the blood flowing through your veins. Be sure to also get up close with standout tracks like “Bed Of Roses” and “Love Debt.” J.T. Loux will keep you inspired and moving all night long and has in Taken by Moonlight one of 2021’s most happening debuts. Start listening now.
Watch “Taken By Moonlight”
Order link for ‘Taken By Moonlight’