Jimmy actually started drums at an early age and discovered the Beatles and other bands of that era. Soon after, he started playing guitar which opened a new musical world. Cream, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Blues Breakers became the musical foundation for him as he started his first band, “The Silence” and then his power trio “Jax.” His guitar mentor, “Fast Freddie” Rapillo has been working with Jimmy for a number of years. After watching a Buddy Guy/Johnny Lang concert, Jimmy was inspired to form a professional band of seasoned musicians with diverse musical backgrounds and experience. Blue On Arrival features Gary Swan – keys, Jon Fowler – producer, Melvin Brannon – bass, David Daniel Diaz – drums.
A step further into the blues is taken here as a band on this release and it’s a good step but is he on the fence of the current crop of crooners or a blues rock wonder waiting to happen is the question. But this is all good nevertheless, even if help up with some covers to extend the points made, which are all very clear, being that he’s coming on strong no matter what. It’s a work that asks one question, will it shine from here out. Because the world awaits the work he’s coming up with and putting out there.
Getting into the music it doesn’t matter what order I hear it in, these are all good numbers with nothing to flaw except that I’m much more into hearing original efforts than covers but he gets one by there, but does still lose a point for coming up short on numbers as well, with only nine to offer. It starts with a high energy approach on “Murder,” which is blues rock all the way. As where some numbers get into other musical territory this makes no secret of the genre he’s really going for. This is a big outing with everything the blues rock lover is looking for. Only certain people are even capable of this lately, for instance the Gary Clark Jr’s of the world, which if you do like blues rock is something you can always use more of.
Lots of piano is going on here and they just jam it out with ease. It’s definitely one of the album’s featured pieces of work. Play it again and again, you will not be let down by this epic introduction. Expect all the swagger of a much older and matured musician. This is great and it just seems to get better. I’m not even one to really reckon with concerning blues rock. I don’t get into the Joe Bonamassa’s of the day. I like blues, but older blues, and I usually draw the line at SRV and really great players like that. But this walks that tightrope, so to speak.
For instance if you listen to “Hit My Stride” one time you will get it. He’s pretty good if I ever heard anyone. And he is well backed by great players too. All fine musicians get to shine on this record. It forces you to listen and you can’t dislike what you hear. You would have to hate the blues to not accept any good version when it comes to “Crossroad Blues,” and a fine job is done, leaving it at that. There is not a lot you can say as long as no disgrace is made of it in its own instinctive greatness.
You definitely want to hear what awaits after getting that deep in the Delta, and “Rock Me Down” hits home with the equal weight of the opener, with a contemporary bite. This isn’t just run of the mill, it has truckloads character and shines in all the right ways. I’m sure to some it might lag a little but that isn’t the blues talking. This has all the right stuff and should pass any blues or blues rock fan’s test. There is a strong Nashville feel to this. But getting far more old school on “Poison’ is just the right ticket in-between all that is presented throughout. It’s where I usually get bored with the tempo but can still appreciate it, and the fact that it contains fabulous playing helps all the more. Plus I can see any hardcore blues fan enjoying this.
But my loss is always someone else’s gain, and the band plays on. ‘I Can’t Stop” is exactly what I mean. This is generally in the same vein, only a lot more to my liking because it’s kicked up a few notches in the wattage department. The energy is just much better here and that gets things back on par for the course. This is done with a lot of angst which makes it more believable. And that is cool because “Poor One” is another take it or leave it number for me. It’s the overall pace that doesn’t thrill me, that’s the only thing. Otherwise some great lyrics can always grow with time on this. The same goes for “Best I Could,” but it wins higher marks with me anyway.
Going out in style with “Stuck In Glue” is more like it with a more modern sound. This is another goodie contained within the record that harks back to energy of the first few numbers and brings that mystery of just what side of the fence he stands more firmly. Every element is combined with great accomplishment and this should stand the test of time, but Jimmy has a long road ahead, and that is a good thing.