The name may sound like a Sassenach cliché at the expense of the beloved Scots but, in this case, The Jimmys are a blues and R’n’B band from the state of Wisconsin and, I’m guessing, are only connected to Scotland by the golden nectar that country is famous for. They’ve been around for over twelve years and garnered many awards and accolades along the way. By the way, there is only one Jimmy in The Jimmys!
They released an album at the turn of the year called Gottta Have It and provided thirteen tracks of horny, keyboard and guitary blues shot through with a liberal dose of proper rhythm and blues and a hearty slice of rock’n’roll for good measure.
Opening with Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (not to be confused with BTO) we get the full force of the good time rock, roll, rhythm and blues seamlessly blended into one song. It is infectious, immediate and impeccably performed even if does follow a well-travelled road. Grim Reaper has a familiar structure too, with a jazz/blues base but it is still fresh and the guitar, in particular, is a delight as its phrasing lights it all up. Write A Hit has a nice lyrical bite as the costs of a breakup will have to be met by writing a hit record…the duet with Ms Ball works brilliantly as they vie for the right to apportion blame. The piano solo is inspired.
She Gotta Have It is back to R’n’B with another familiar pattern that the band freshens and make their own. Started Up Again is a bit Three Dog Night in feel due in the main to the rhythmic patterns and electric piano. It is still all The Jimmys though and the guitar solo is so entertaining with a subtle cowbell all the way through, you can’t help but love it. Hotel Stebbins moves into rock ‘n’ roll territory in their usual infectious way and the piano, rightly, takes centre stage as the ghost of Jerry Lee floats through. Drinkin’ is my favourite pastime in these strange days (but only after wine o’clock…4pm) and its slower-paced, piano and horn-led blues is a perfect accompaniment to any libation(s). The piano solo may make you drink a little faster with its glissandos and perk!
When You Got Love is my favourite because of the slinky slide of the bottleneck master, Greg Koch. It could have been a lot more for me but it works and works well. Always A Woman was written by blues/country musicians/writers/producers Gary Nicholson and Kevin McKendree…if you haven’t heard of them you’ve heard them, look up Delbert McClinton’s work for example, which is where I first came across them. Anyway, their song is treated to a full-on R’n’B work out with a delicious organ solo interrupted, in my view, by the sax. Words And Actions is slow blues with tasteful instrumentation shared by the entire band…it is clever how the production manages to give prominence to each instrument and then fade them neatly for a superb guitar solo.
Someday Baby was written by harp player extraordinaire Jim Liban and it loses not of its fire here…albeit a slow, burning bluesy fire with a fabulous guitar intro of carefully picked notes throughout in an almost Kossoff style. Take You Back lifts the pace a little and brings more blues guitar into the familiar but fresh love song. The final song, Jose, is an instrumental in the Booker T vein and is a blast from the first Hammond chord to the last. The false teeth rattling percussion is a little off-putting at first but soon becomes something to look forward to. The sax solo is the best on the album and the Hammond is genius throughout. They do chant the title occasionally even if Hose B never gets a mention!
This is a good time album full of rock, roll, rhythm and blues that will always be welcome. The playing is impeccable throughout and it will be a deserving addition to your R’n’B collection.
Bluesdoodles rating: Wonderful – Rhythm and Blues the way it was, is and will ever be
- Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet
- Grim Reaper
- Write A Hit
- She Gotta Have It
- Started Up Again
- Hotel Stebbins
- When You Got Love
- Always A Woman
- Words And Actions
- Someday Baby
- Take You Back
Tracks 2,4,6,8 & 13 written by Jimmy Voegeli
Tracks 1,5, & 12 written by Perry Weber
Track 3 written by Jimmy Voegeli, Marcia Ball & Tony Braunagel
Track 7 written by Perry Weber & Tony Braunagel
Track 9 written by Gary Nicholson & Kevin McKendree
Track 10 written by Jimmy Voegeli & Tony Braunagel
Track 11 written by Jim Liban
Produced by Tony Braunagel
Engineered by Steve Hamilton at Makin’Sausage Music
Jimmy Voegeli-vocals, piano, Hammond B-3, clavinet
Perry Weber-vocals, guitar
John Wartenweiler- electric bass, acoustic bass
Kyle Samuelson trombone
Bryan Husk-bari saxophone
Al Falaschi-bari saxophone
Greg Koch – slide guitar
Marcia Ball- vocals and background vocals
Melodye Perry – background vocals
Wally Ingram – percussion
Mike Finnigan – background vocals
(The iTunes follow on served up 99 Shades of Grey from the inspired team of JJ Grey And Mofro from 2013…blues with style!)