Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers
Telarc (2003) CD-83572
11 tracks, 55 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: May/June 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
The self-penned liner notes for the new Jimmy Thackery CD, True Stories say, "I've always tried to write songs that are grounded in true events but this was the first time I purposefully sat down to write specifically about true events and my life experiences. I think that's what the blues is all about. If you look back over all the great blues songs, you'll find a lot of truth to them." Speaking the truth about events in life, either the singer's or someone else's, is a major part of blues, but it's a number of combined ingredients that fit together to make the outcome what it is. Thackery's guitar playing has bordered on over-the-edge pyrotechnics, from the old days in the Nighthawks right to the present time, and there's nothing much different here, except that this is less of a blues record than many fans might have hoped for. Part of the reason lies in the production, perhaps far more than what Thackery has used previously, amply shown in Got It Going On, I
Think I Hear The Rain, and Dancin' With The Dawg. With echo, layered guitar, various effects, and more, Thackery sounds little like a blues player and more of a lost rocker, evident again in Being Alone which is further hampered by his distracting vocal squawks, and while Mark Stutso's drumming works well throughout, his delivery of the lyrics in Puttin' Out Fires is another letdown. Buddy Johnson's Crazy 'bout A Saxophone bumps along nicely with solid work from Jimmy Carpenter, but the disc's finest moments are saved for the final track, Roy Buchanan's The Messiah Will Come where Thackery shines for nearly ten minutes displaying passion, soul, and more feeling than the other forty-five minutes combined. Overall, while Jimmy Thackery might be progessing as a songwriter, he's offering less of his patented blues-rock attack in True Stories.
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