Fiery guitarist J.P. Soars and his swinging band the Red Hots took first place in the 25th annual International Blues Challenge, held in Memphis in January 2009, beating out over 160 other contestants from around the world. Soars also individually won the event's Albert King Award, which established him as the best guitar player in the competition. They've recently released their own self-produced album, Back Of My Mind, which features plenty of Soars' incendiary fretwork on a mix of original tunes and inspired covers. Until they secure a label deal, J.P. Soars & the Red Hots remain the best unsigned band in the blues.
Soars is clearly a talented young bluesman with a feel for a variety of blues styles, and has put together an album that showcases many skills -- songwriting, arranging, guitar playing (he also won the Albert King Award for best guitarist, and that shows off nicely here).The CD is "Back of My Mind," and it's a fine showcase for Soars' multiple skills. "Call My Baby." It's original, but could just as easily have been written by Willie Dixon. I like this guy a lot. His vocals have a gritty feel, and both his covers and originals show a strong sense of where the blues have been, and maybe where they're going. As the Albert King Award indicates, he's a strong, tough guitar player with great chops. Give him a listen. I think you'll like what you hear.
By Jim White Pittsburg Gazzette
His debut release, Back of My Mind, focuses on the blues, and it’s a keeper. Soars’ guitar work is dynamite and his gravelly vocals suit his material well. From the sound of things, Soars has a bright future that might not necessarily be limited to the blues side of things. He’s a very versatile guitarist who is well-versed in several different genres. Back of My Mind is a remarkable first release that blues fans need to check out. Blues Bytes