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Jim Allchin - Overclocked

Sandy Key Music

13 songs; 51 minutes

Styles: Blues Rock, Jazzy Blues, Pop Ballad

A smorgasbord is a popular destination of many hungry people who want “a night out.” Its appeal is threefold: relatively low prices, the temptation to devour “all you can eat,” and vast array of foods available. Like a buffet, Jim Allchin's second album, “Overclocked,” offers a little bit of everything: blistering yet melodious guitar, hot horns, punctuating keyboards, beautiful ballads, and a pinch of pizzazz! Allchin’s honeyed and warm tenor vocals are serviceable and sound younger than his age (the opposite of the more common young-guy-sounding-old). His thirteen original songs may skirt the edge of pure blues; however, each one is unique and tasty, and all are worth at least one listen. Let's savor three of this CD's most luscious main dishes:

Track 1. "Overclocked"--Typically, this adjective refers to computer processors when they've been set to run faster than normal. However, in this case, Jim Allchin belts out a weary student's desire to do just this: "No more school or teachers' looks. It's Friday night--got to come unhooked! "Overclocked" is everything a lead-in number on an album should be: explosive, vigorous, and a surefire earworm! His masterful guitar work reminds of Jimi Hendrix’s creativity coupled with Robin Trower’s harmonic melody.
Track 3. "Back in the Swamp"--Is this an ode to Florida, or perhaps the Louisiana bayou? Hardly! It's a confession from a philandering paramour: "I'm back in the swamp. Those gators gonna get me! I cheated on that girl--I'm up the creek." Allchin's metaphor is a fresh change from the usual "doghouse" imagery, and when he compares "lying through my teeth" to rising waters, the mental image is absolutely priceless!

Track 10. "Perfect Game"—This song's about the painful masquerading that lovers often do once they lose one another. Jim Allchin and co-vocalist Keely Whitney are magnificent here as the pair in question, with a mutual lament: "Hide my heart, hide my eyes--the old familiar disguise. It's the perfect game: I'm doing great, showing no pain. It's the perfect game..." What makes this song perfect is its raw power, as opposed to flawless blues technique.

According to his website, Jim Allchin hails from a one-room house on a dirt farm in the Deep South. He rose to earn Masters/Doctorate degrees from Stanford University and Georgia Institute of Technology. He went on to become a world-recognized leader in Computer Science and software. Today he codes for fun and plays guitar for love. “Money doesn't really matter for happiness,” he states emphatically. What does matter is providing blues listeners with variety and plenty of “food for thought”. “Overclocked” definitely offers it, and much more!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 31-year-old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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