Thursday, June 28, 2007

Solid Ice reviewed by Steve Jones

Solid Ice
Jimmy Thackery
Telarc Blues
11 tracks/62:52

Jimmy Thackery has spent 40 years on the road but recently spent 6 months off the road to write and produce this latest studio album. Jimmy had a chance to write and reflect on his music at home during this time. Unlike his last Telarc CD, this is a home spun album, recorded in his native Arkansas rather than the slick studios of Nashville. He penned the first 10 tracks, a soulful mix of bluesy, jazzy numbers, and finishes off the CD covering Jimi Hendrix’ “Who Knows.”
Jimmy’s vocals get down and growl for the first half of the opening song “Hit the Big Time;” his guitar solo then fills the second half of the song. “How Long” is the second track, another nice little retro-rocking tune, as is the next song “Fifteen Minutes.” This trio of songs feature a soulfully gruff Thackery on vocals with riffs and chords that hearken from rock-a-billy to some of the 70’s-early 80’s big rock songs.

Thackery then turns things around with a couple of instrumentals, “Hobart’s Blues” and Daze in May.” The former highlight’s Jimmy’s guitar virtuosity in the manner we’ve become accustomed to; it’s a super southwestern styled guitar track that Jimmy he switches gears and gives us a lazy little number that feels like he is shuffling and picking through a warm country day.

Switching gears again, “Blue Tears” is next. It is basically a country tune where Jimmy croons about lost love. He follows that with a song in another vein where he’s testifying and giving the advice to go looking for a “XXX Wife.” “I don’t want no women sharp as a knife...I don’t want nobody trying to change my life…I guess you might say I’m lookin’ for my triple-x wife.” He follows these lines with a jazzy stroll over the frets of his guitar that is just oh-so sweet.
“One or the Other” interestingly bemoans a relationship that has gone bad, a song that very remarkably sounds to me like a Dire Straights song (both vocally and on guitar). He spends over 8 minutes trying convince his love to “Talk to Me” with some amazing, wailing guitar riffs.

The title track is a very jazzy number where Jimmy just lays out some very sweet, slow guitar work for a bit over nine minutes. Jimmy stays slow and reprises “Blue Tears” instrumentally before going totally wild, fuzzed out and psychedelic on the Hendrix instrumental “Who Knows.”

Thackery runs the gamut of musical styles on this CD. He shies away from his typical Nighthawks and Drivers mode of revved up rides and takes a very introspective and fresh approach with the music he crafted during his “vacation” from road. I liked this CD a helluva lot; it shows some sides of Thackery that we rarely (if ever) get to see. Jimmy gives us glimpses of this sort of stuff in his live shows, but while at home and in the studio back in Arkansas he has brought us rock-a-billy, classic rock, soul, jazz, blues and country all in a cool little Solid Ice package

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