Review: Stevie Nimmo – The Wynds Of Life
Posted on: Sunday, Aug 15, 2010
Although published by Armadillo Music in the UK, this first solo album by Stevie Nimmo was recorded at the Zone Studios, Dripping Springs, Austin, Texas. Stevie is backed on the album by a fine collection of American musicians: Lloyd Maines on pedal steel, Dobro and slide guitars, mandolin and banjo; George Reiff on bass guitar, bass piano and percussion; Michael Ramos on Hammond B3, Wurlitzer and accordion; and Pat Manske on drums and percussion. In addition, guitarist David Lee Holt guests on two tracks.
The fourteen tracks of the album comprise ten of Stevie Nimmo’s own compositions, two by Boyd Tonner (the drummer and main songwriter of The Stumble) and two cover versions. Stevie is best known as the elder of the hugely popular Nimmo Brothers, who are widely regarded as the leading British exponents of the blues-rock genre. The mood of this album, however, is a far cry from that idiom and largely comprises a mixture of ballads and love songs, many of which have a distinctly country flavour.
Tonner’s “You’d Be On It” provides a lively opening track, which is followed by a splendid rendition of Marc Broussard’s “Lonely Night In Georgia” and the original country ballad, “Morning Sun, Midnight Rain”, complete with a tasty helping of pedal steel guitar. “Dreams” is a tender lullaby, embellished with an effective accordion backing and exuding a middle-eastern ambience. “Eye Of The Storm” is full of poignant and highly emotive lyrics and boasts some lovely guitar riffs. A superb version of David Grissom’s “Good Day For The Blues” makes way for the second Boyd Tonner composition, the remorseful ballad, “Make It Up To You”.
The final seven tracks, all penned by Stevie Nimmo, comprise the blues-tinged “Long Road To Heaven”; “Coming Home To You”, another country ballad imbued with more pedal steel flavouring; the gentle love song, “In Your Arms At Night”; “Winter”, a folksy instrumental; “Sometimes” a ballad with a prominent banjo accompaniment; and a couple of philosophically optimistic numbers: “It’s A hard Life” and “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright”.
It will come as a surprise to the many fans of the Nimmo Brothers that this is not remotely a blues album. If it needs to be categorised, it would fit most comfortably into the Americana classification. Nevertheless, it is a magnificent compilation, which showcases Stevie’s sensitive side, particularly in respect of his vocal delivery and his songwriting skill. It is an absolute must for the Nimmo collection.