We are excited to share with you a review of The Graveyard shift by the one and only Jim Pinckney. The review was published in the the January issue of the Blue Monday Monthly. The magazine is the biggest online blues magazine in the midwest. Check out the entire issue at http://www.bluemondaymonthly.com. Thanks Jim!
Wow! might be the simplest way to describe Jimmi & the Band of Souls (JATBOS) new CD, THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT ………. but I’ve decided to “dig a little deeper”.
After listening to this new disk at least a dozen times, I can’t decide if I should be writing a CD or a book review; maybe, I’ll do both. Yes, it’s about the music, but there is so much more here. This is JATBOS’ 4th album and none is finer than this jewel. Twelve original works from this world class lyrist and storyteller. Like most artists, these original songs are autobiographical. THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT reads/listens like a good book. Ballads, love songs, songs of struggle, songs of hope; sad, happy, comfort, heartache, pain & pleasure, all bouncing off each other but with a solid foundation; a plea for peace with a hint of faith, acceptance & redemption.
“Your body will return to earth & clay
But that’s just the end of the song
It ain’t the end of the show.”
Not enough time or space to individually review each number, but let me start with two favorites that seem to “cook & drive”. The title cut, “The Graveyard Shift” is an inspiring look at life from cradle to grave with hope for what comes after. This song moves you from beginning to end. (For those old enough to remember, channel me a little Eddie Cochran & Dwayne Eddie.) You’ll love the electric riffs in this piece.
Then there’s “I’m Blue”, at first glance, it could be mistaken for just another driving Blues Rock spectacular, that is, until you start listening to the words and realize Jimmi is mourning the loss of his best friend. He bemoans, “What am I supposed to do?“ The sadness is expressed in this riveting masterpiece that runs on and on, starts & stops with the pain of this lost love & friendship.
These are two of the most infectious tunes I have heard in the last several years. Grab your passport and strap yourself in because once JATBOS puts it on “cruise” these songs won’t be stopping at the boarder!
From the music, to the cover art, to the lyrics & liner notes, there is no stone left unturned. While many bands are exhausted just trying to get the disk in “the can”, JATBOS is just at the beginning of the process, sparing no time or expense to “get it just right”. Hours upon hours of mixing and fine tuning, accompanied by equal time spent on cover art, liner notes & lyrics …… along with a few words of poetic wisdom. It’s like reading a good book from this great storyteller. You don’t have to listen to much of their music before you realize they truly understand the phrase “less is more”. Each and every note is a finely planned part of the work. There are simply no accidents here, the fine vocals of Jimmi Langemo along with the solid harmonies of Nate Heinz who also holds down the Bass end of things. Nate does a stellar job of vocals on “Say You’re All Mine”, a snappy harp driven Cajun love song. Jay LeClair, the lead guitarist of this group has spent the last several years in the woodshed and has emerged as a seasoned professional. Two repeat guest artists also appear on this CD, as they have on several of the earlier offering. Erik Koskinen’s guitar excellence is heard on several cuts (Erik also did the mastering on this project), and Richard Medek is on drums throughout the CD. In addition, Adam Daniel graces several songs with piano & organ. All in all, I am able to count at least 16 instruments, all played with the same fine precision.
Clear, Clean, Crisp, Concise, are just a few of the adjectives that describe this fine tuned, intense but amazing masterpiece.
Photography/artwork/layout by Dreya Layman, Jimmi’s wife, simply adds to this already stellar offering. Details, details, details that all add-up to a huge win.
Perfection is a scary word for any artist, it is always being strived for, but forever illusive and rarely achieved because it is ever changing. Let’s just say the JATBOS came close, very close with this one. It is a work of art.
In summary, if I had to describe the latest effort in one word, I would have to use “BRILLIANT”! …… but what else would you expect from this “son of a preacher man”.
You will thank me when you add THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT to your collection.
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