Jimmy Bowskill - Live
Several years ago I reviewed a debut release by pre-teen Jimmy Bowskill entitled Old Soul. Dressed like a dapper bluesman, Bowskill's picture coincided with the music. Original and cover tunes reflected old timey and ragtime blues coming from an age of old Victrolas and Depression era America.
Jumping the looking glass to 2009, Bowskill doesn't look like a bluesman so much as he does a young hippie. When you see the psychedelic artwork adorning his Live CD, you have a feeling you wont hear acoustic blues but classic rock that formulated the sixties as well as seventies.
While he may have alienated some fans who preferred his playing in an acoustic format, he definitely grabs listeners who love hard Gibson Les Paul tones cranked through Marshall amplifiers set at 11.
Backed by drummer Dan Neill and bassist Wayne Deadder, Bowskill is a flashback to a time portal when serious riffage and killer solo notes ruled the day.
Jimmy might be digging into his parent's record collection. Instrumental "Karadag" has a musical signature line taken from Black Sabbath's "Wicked World." The songs are soaked in distortion fuzz tones that give cuts like "Broke Down Engine" and "Be Mine" a metallic knife edge with a Warren Haynes vision and an Andy Fraser muscle.
Although blues bubbles under the surface of Bowskill's playing, it comes under the umbrella of boogie rock. Especially when Jimmy tackles the Free classic "Ride A Pony." He pours a slow searing menace in "Three O' Clock In The Morning" with Gary Moore punctuations in fat chords and stabbing solos. The singing is Johnny Lang meeting Steve Marriott who just had a beer with Joe Bonamassa.
At least Jimmy gets turned on by the right people. Peter Green's "Rattlesnake Shake" might be a bit on the heavy side. But it goes with a bang not a whimper.
Jimmy isn't looking to get on American Idol. This live set is by a youngster who breathes life into what rock should be. There's few hints of blues. Still it's enough to satisfy a listener who wants a blast from the past riding shotgun into the future.
Review by Gary “Wingman” Weeks.