Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Overclocked reviewed by Rick Davis

Jim Allchin
Sandy Key Music LLC
13 Tracks

Jim Allchin grew up in rural Florida living in a one-room house his dad built with his own hands. Jim worked in the surrounding fields at a young age, sacrificing his education to made ends meet. "We may have had essentially nothing, but I had a fantastic childhood." Inspired somehow by Jimi Hendrix, Allchin picked up a guitar and decided to follow the same path as did the southern boys Lynyrd Skynrd and the Allman Brothers working as a starving musician to pay for his education. Jim decided to choose the field of computer science and worked his way through school by touring with his band. This led to Masters and Doctorate degrees from Stanford University and Georgia Institute of Technology. In 1990 he joined with Microsoft and became a leader in the world of computer science and software. Bill Gates was once made the statement of Jim, "He’s a brilliant technologist, visionary and a strong leader." Faced with life-changing health issues in 2003, Jim made the decision to return to music. "It forced me to re-examine my life." He continues, "When you look out over the abyss, you say, 'Hmmm…better make sure I do all the things I want to do.' Had that not happened, I probably would have written software until I was 90."

Over the years, Jim has persevered to become the best at whatever he wanted to do in life. Performing musically was no exception. His latest project Overclocked, is a blues exploration CD covering a wide range of blues styles. He surrounded himself with some of the top musicians in the Seattle area where the album was recorded, mixed, and mastered. His sensational lead and slide guitar is displayed throughout the entire CD.   Overclocked opens with the title track and a boogie guitar intro only to explode into guitar blues-rock masterpiece! "Willow Tree" and "Back In The Swamp" incorporate a perfect blend of guitar/keyboard solos and a superb horn section. "Don't Tell Me What To Do" is typical of the Texas style guitar heard from the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. "One For The Money" exudes the sultry vocals of Keely Whitney and the fiery guitar licks of Allchin. The instrumental "Fall" can only be compared to page out a Stevie Ray Vaughan or Joe Satriani songbook. The horn section, band, and guitar solos on "Dr. J" and "Just Playin With Me" connect like an overloaded circuit! They slow things down with "Mr. Unknown" as Jim delivers vocals with a smooth rich flow and guitar licks to match. "Perfect Game" provides a mellow harmony created by Jim and Keely Whitney.
"Flirt" would make a perfect tune from a rock anthology. This original collection concludes with a couple of tunes displaying Jim Allchin's mastery of the guitar.
"The One" is the final vocal number on the CD. "Opening My Eyes to Love," a haunting instrumental comparable to the work of the late Gary Moore, is a perfect ending to an incredible showcase of  both up-tempo and slow tunes, jazz, blues, slide guitar, and ballads.

Overclocked is more than a CD. It is the story of Jim Allchin and his passion for music. We will be expecting even more from him in the near future.

Reviewed by Rick Davis

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