Review: Jim Singleton – 8 O’Clock In The Afternoon

Posted on: Monday, Jul 27, 2015

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Jim Singleton – 8 O’Clock in The Afternoon

(Self-produced)

A combination of enforced family travels during his childhood years to countries such as, Hawaii and Germany (for his father was a Colonel in the American Army) only added to Jim’s young musical curiosity, for when bands of vastly differing musical styles played at the military bases upon which his family lived, he was happily exposed to every musical genre that was available. Originally from Dumas, Arkansas, Jim is now based in Pennsylvania, he spends most of his time travelling across America pursuing his musical dream and dealing in vintage electric guitars – a business he developed from bringing over the odd guitar here and there for friends in England while in his teens.

As a consequence of his early dealings with now, long-time friends and musicians such as Bernie Marsden he is able to make his dream as a musician of merging English interpretations with American blues a reality. This came about as a direct result of Jim’s involvement with Bernie Marsden’s documentary concerning the affinity and connections of Clarksdale and English blues men. This programme gave Jim the idea and impetus to create and record a lively mixture of English blues with contemporary American blues men in one of the birthplaces of classic blues, Clarksdale, Mississippi.

The album kicks off with Peter Green’s “Rattlesnake Shake”, a bone-shaking drum supports a rich, strong trudging and tramping guitar that winds, whines and cleaves its way into your brain. Supporting Jim, on vocals and guitar, are such artists as; Jack Thurman, Bernie Marsden, Fiona Boyes, Sean ‘Bad’ Apple, Nicky Moroch, and Gary Vincent, on guitars, Joe Osborn and Daddy Rich; bass, Lee Williams and John Martin; drums.

The splendidly haunting and tremulous Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game”, contains all the fearful emotion and shudder that Roy Orbison so successfully unleashed to the world. On Rory Gallagher’s “A Million Miles Away”, a crisp and clear Spanish guitar influence is entwined within the slow absorbing blues but, also in there amongst the swirling organ pulses there is a fleeting Dave Gilmour feeling of open space.

A dreamy and wistful atmosphere is created by the laconic harmonica playing of Charlie Musselwhite within Bernie Marsden’s “Place In My Heart”, while the slowly rising organ swirls like a mist around the melancholy guitar and vocals that plead to your heart. There is a definite good time Hill Country feel running through Gary Clark Jr.’s “Don’t Owe You A Thang”.

The band eagerly stomps around a excitable and raw buzzsawing guitar with highly enjoyable frantic rockabilly drum work taking centre stage.  Another Rory Gallagher gem is “What’s Going On”,  a cobweb blasting rocker, that includes frantic fretwork that is a ringing and rolling pleasure to the ears accompanied by stomping, driving drum work. An unexpected pleasure to the ears!

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

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