Thursday, March 4, 2010
Jimmy THACKERY and The Drivers - True Stories 2003
After 2002's We Got It, his tribute to soul singer Eddie Hinton, Thackery returns to mostly original material. He acquits himself with the capability of a veteran bluesman; everything here sounds crisp and clean, and the songs are uniformly excellent. Blues-rock isn't a genre known for subtlety and texture, but Thackery's music offers both, whether he's kicking things off with a bang on "Got It Going On," mellowing out with "Blues Man on a Saturday Night," or stomping ahead on "Being Alone." "I Think I Hear the Rain" is as sad and sweet as can be, but then he tightens things up with the likes of "Puttin' Out Fires" and "Dancin' with the Dawg." Like the best musicians, Thackery lets his music do a large share of the storytelling.
By Genevieve Williams. AMG.
Jimmy Thackery is like a noble, precious, complex red vine: he gets better and better as time elapses. This album is, from my point of view, his best effort so far. His guitar playing and his song writing (for the first time he shares this "duty" with his wife) are becoming more mature, more interesting, and most of all more rich in taste, texture and feeling. After the mostly R&B oriented "We got it", this time Jimmy is more focused on blues and he delivers quite a few ones on this album. The CD kicks off with a rock-blues number on which Jimmy proves that his ability in playing slide is second to none and it continues with a couple of blues that by themselves worth the price of admission: "Blues man on Saturday night" and the slow "Baby's got the blues". Throughout the album Jimmy explore different shadows of the blues, from the Albert Collins influenced "Too tired" to the Texas stile blues "Dancin' with the dawg" to finish with the cover of the Roy Buchanan's slow "The Messiah will come". His singing is strong, and his guitar playing is absolutely outstanding in each single song and the rhythm section, provided by the band, is backing him perfectly. In conclusion a great effort that should finally consecrates Jimmy Thackery as one of the best white blues guitarist around. If you share my passion for the blues don't miss this one.
By M. Bernocchi.
When I reviewed Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers' We Got It, last year I called it their best work to date. I am going to have to retract that statement because, with the release of True Stories (Telarc), it is completely false. The latest from one of the hardest working quartets in the blues started out as a simple album of blues ditties but evolved through both music's natural progression and it's players into a selection of tunes that both collectively and individually took on a life of their own, according to Thackery. Jimmy leaves no doubt that he has arrived as a songwriter writing nine of the album's eleven tracks,three of which were co written with his lovely wife Sally, with all having an anchor in true events and life experiences.This is the first time Thackery has purposefully made an effort to do so through his writing and the results are superlative. The album's opening gritty number "Got it Going On," finds the whole band kicking things out in high gear with Thackery tearing things up with some blazing riffs and saxman Jimmy Carpenter blasting out a most impressive solo. The cool bop of "Bluesman on Saturday Night," may very well become the anthem for all blues musicians with it's tale of the working gentleman who lets it all hang out once Saturday night rolls around, and let it hang out he does with a few invigorating crisp solos. The mellow "Baby's Got The Blues," and " I Think I Hear The Rain," are the album's two most poignant numbers on which we hear a gentler dimension to Thackery's playing leaning more to the melodic side of things. Jimmy is joined on both numbers by the gorgeous voice of Reba Russell on background vocals for the third consecutive album (Oh just put her in the band already Jimmy it'll work perfectly!). "Snakes In My Mailbox," is a rarity because of its acoustic nature and is highlighted by some fine picking and slick lyrics along with a honky tonk flavoring. The first time I heard "Dancing With The Dawg," it became an instant favorite, as it is one of those numbers that quietly sneaks into your senses and overwhelms you with it's subdued but intricate guitar riffs and silky percussive rhythms. If anyone has ever been fed up with anything then "Too Tired," is sure to strike a nerve with it's "enough already!" attitude and works hand in hand with the following track "Being Alone." It wouldn't be a Thackery and The Drivers album without a tune featuring the vocals of one of the hardest hitting drummers known to blueskind in the form of Mark Stutso punching out his usual high energy, passionate vocals on "Putting Out Fires," a slightly pessimistic story of a man looking for the blues when there are none to be found but is nonetheless a catchy fun tune. Two covers wrap up this tastey biscuit very nicely. Buddy Johnson's jiving"Crazy `Bout A Saxophone," is a showcase for Jimmy Carpenter who rises to the occassion splendidly blowing the roof off (pun intended) with his soulful phrasings and the entire band falling into an intensely hot groove. The lone instrumental "The Messiah Will Come,"closes things out as a tribute to friend Roy Buchanan (who we lost entirely too soon) and might be familiar to Buchanan fans as "The Messiah Will Come Again." Thackery's treatment of this number is beautifully stunning as he wrings every emotion know to man from his guitar along with bassist Ken Faltinson pulling double duty on the B3. True Stories is a dazzlingly captivating album in both content and execution as there is not one bad or "filler" tune to be had here in its close to an hour running time. I've had the pleasure of watching the evolution of Thackery and The Drivers since 1992's Empty Arms Motel and it seems that switching labels completely agrees with Thackery as his playing, which has always been fabulous, and writing have taken on a more creative edge with each endeavor. I won't be quite so hasty this time and call this their best work to date because I have a sneaking suspicion that I will only have to retract it again with the next release. One thing for sure is that True Stories is one great blues record.
By Steve Hinrichsen.
Jimmy Thackery- (Vocals, Guitar);
Mark Stutso- (Vocals, Drums);
Jimmy Carpenter- (Sax);
Ken Faltinson- (Hammond B-3 Organ, Bass);
Reba Russel- (Background Vocals).
01. Got It Going On
02. Blues Man On Saturday Night
03. Baby’s Got The Blues
04. I Think I Hear The Rain
05. Snakes In My Mailbox
06. Dancin’ With The Dawg
07. Too Tired
08. Being Alone
09. Puttin’ Out Fires
10. Crazy ‘Bout A Saxophone
11. The Messiah Will Come