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Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers - Inside Tracks

Telarc Blues

What is Blues? Is it just 12 bar slow, down and dirty Blues? Is it only Robert Johnson's 29 recordings done over and over? I got into a deep discussion back in 1997 on The 6th Ultimate Blues Cruise (Before The “Legendary Blues Cruise”) not once, but twice about the subject. Once was while listening to Jimmy Thackery perform.

Thackery went from his normal recorded songs to “Hey Joe” (Jimi Hendrix style) then went into “The Star Spangled Banner,” note for note like Hendrix. I was really digging it, when my friend said, "That ain’t Blues" and left this fantastic guitar slinger to go listen to another band on the ship. Jimmy then did my favorite, “Red House Blues,” and knocked me out! That, my friend totally missed. Later, I got into a heated discussion with a lady from Chicago, who had never heard Hendrix doing Blues, and she said he had never done blues and couldn't.

Doesn't an artist have the right to do anything they want - to write and sing what they feel? Well, Jimmy Thackery has been tagged a “Bluesman” or at least been thrown into the blues genre ever since he played with the Nighthawks back in the 70's and 80's.

Jimmy Thackery and the drivers, new release, called “Inside Tracks,” is a very well done CD. It is almost all new material and written by Jimmy, with the exception of “Promised Land,” by Chuck Berry. The first cut “All because of You,” sounds like it should be played in a country Honky Tonk bar. It has very good lyrics and guitar (of course) coming from one of the Masters of the Stratocaster, but it sure doesn't sound like Blues to me.

Next is “Blinking of an Eye.” It’s a fantastic, slow and sad ballad about life and love and how fast it goes by. It’s about how we all take it for granted and think we have more time to say or show someone something until it is too late. Very good lyrics again, and vocals, though I thought that Jimmy brought in Travis Tritt to sing this one. I had never heard this country voice that comes out of Thackery before.

My personal favorite, track 8, is “That Dog Won't Hunt.” Again great lyrics said very cleverly done about a cheating woman with another man.

I think this CD is put together very well. It shows how good of a writer Jimmy is. Excellent guitar skills are shown here, although I kept hearing Mark Knofler from Dire Straits and Chet Atkins in there. But, I mean that as a compliment because that is how good of a guitar God this guy is. If you haven't heard him live "shame on you," you should. He puts on one heck of a live show!

But, back to my original question of “what is Blues?” I have heard and seen a lot of blues from this talented guitar slinger many a time before, but in my opinion there is none on this CD. But don't let that stop you from buying a great CD by this great guitar player!

Tom "THE ENERGIZER" Schlesinger is a long time Blues lover and fan, and is a veteran to many Blues Fest in the Midwest and Florida. He is also a veteran to The Ultimate Blues Cruise and The Legendary Blues Cruise through the Caribbean and a founding member of The Friends of The Blues.

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