Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jimmy Bowskill Live reviewed by Rick Davis

Jimmy Bowskill Live
Jimmy Bowskill
Ruf Records
12 Tracks

Billed as The Three J's, Jimmy Bowskill will be a force to be dealt with, when he opens for Jeff Beck and Joe Bonamassa in Bonn, Germany July 19th. Combine the guitar licks of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Healy and the young voice of Gary Moore and you have described the talent of Jimmy Bowskill. He was discovered in a Toronto club by Jeff Healey at the age of 11 and has since opened for groups like ZZ Top, Dickey Betts, Garth Hudson, Paul Rodgers, and Deep Purple, while touring in Canada and internationally in Germany, France, Mexico, Ukraine, and at the World Expo in Japan.

On his current CD Jimmy Bowskill 'Live', Bowskill provides an earth shattering, ground shaking, explosive display of blues rock music heard live in one of the best live concerts that I have heard. He opens the set with a fiery version of the tune "Far From Reality" and continues with Peter Green's "Rattlesnake Shake" which in my estimation is worth the price of admission. Peter Green would be proud! Included in the concert are the tunes from the group Free "Walk in My Shadow" and "Ride My Pony." In fact, Bowskill is so talented,  Free/Bad Company vocal legend Paul Rodgers, has exclaimed, "He's got a great feel. He reminds me of Paul Kossoff [Free], who we sadly lost all those years ago. He's almost the spitting image of him which is incredible." The song that really shows the range of his vocals and displays his incredible guitar mastery is "Loser."  Some of the best slide guitar can be heard on "Be Mine" a concert by itself! "Be Mine" transitions right into "Broke Down Engine" which reminds me of the incredible vocals of the late Gary Moore gaining a rousing applause from the audience. Jimmy once again displays the range of his vocals in "Drifting Haze". "Diamond Ring" moves away from tradition blues and more towards the heavy rock side. "Kardag" is more of a Hendrix inspired tune featuring Dan Neill on a drum solo and bass player Wayne Deadder supporting Jimmy on guitar. He takes the B.B. King tune "Three O’clock in the Morning" and creates his own explosive arrangement as only Jimmy can, taking his vocals completely over the top. As he concludes the concert with the number "Link Into Your Chain," I can almost hear Jeff Healey playing through Jimmy's fingertips as he tears into the fretboard.

As we have recently lost some of the most powerful blues-rock artists and performers like Jeff Healey and Gary Moore, I see the torch passed to a younger generation of incredibly talented artists like Jimmy Bowskill. It appears the soul of rock and blues is here to stay for an eternity!

Reviewed by Rick Davis

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