Gotta Have It
Brown Cow Productions
A Classic and Classy Dose of Rock & Roll Fuelled Rhythm & Blues.
As this album was released on New Years Eve 2019; and I stopped reviewing just before Christmas this album nearly got given to Oxfam; but thankfully I still remember how dazzlingly good it is; so here goes.
Like so many Rhythm & Blues albums I receive from the States, The Jimmys are ‘Old School’ in a way the UK hasn’t produced in at least quarter of a century if not longer. Two exquisite singers, plus the obligatory guitar/bass/drums combo; only these cats can turn a tune on a sixpence but most notably the Brass Section is worthy of a Symphony orchestra; and is nearly as big.
Opening track Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet is a real adrenaline fuelled stomper, with Perry Weber giving a basso-prof-undo performance worthy of Barry White while the band throw in a crackling 50’s Rock n Roll beat to get the party started.
Jimmy Voegeli steps to the mic on the next song Grim Reaper and he hits notes that I’ve not heard since the heady days when Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson were in their pomp; and the melody will you have you clinging to your loved one as you shuffle around the dancefloor …… and possibly even the kitchen too.
It’s not even lazy of me to say that this was the music I grew up watching as a teenager turning into an adult; as bands of this ilk played bars and clubs all over the North East; but alas no more.
The Jimmys certainly keep that R&B flame alive and burning rightly with sizzlers Started Up Again, Always a Woman and She Gotta Have It showing that this kind of music is not just timeless; but can be gussied up when the mood changes.
Back in the day; had they been on my local circuit I can easily imagine The Jimmys easily performing on Friday night upstairs in the hot and sweaty Cooperage pub; then taking the same set to the Mayfair Ballroom on Saturday then rocking the roof off the Tyne Bar and Lounge on Sunday afternoon; such is the accessibility of songs like Weber’s laid back Drinkin’ and the smoochy Words and Actions or most especially the racy instrumental Jose with it’s shout-along chorus “Jose!”
There is even a Gust Star appearance here; and for once it really is a ‘Star’ as Miss Marcia Ball is not just an Award Winner but an R&B singer that can still fill houses in the UK. Here she co-wrote and added vocals to the tongue in cheek ‘break up’ song, Write a Hit where she takes everything including the dog and his Cadillac ‘from’ Jimmy Voegeli and now he just needs to ‘Write a Hit’ to get his life back on track.
Bless her, she also adds backing vocals to When You Got Love as Voegeli strains every beautiful vocal chord of his on this gorgeous ballad of luuuurve.
Any of those songs could and perhaps would have been my Favourite Song on this album were it not for the inclusion of Hotel Stebbins, which takes a Chuck Berry beat, adds in a splash of Fats Domino and the band rock and roll like they are fired up on Nitro; and don’t get me started on Voegeli’s sweet, sweet vocals!
If only we could get bands like The Jimmys to cross the Atlantic for the Summer Festival Season I’m pretty damn sure they would kick start the R&B scene over here; or at the very least give it a good kick up the ass, which it’s desperately in need of!
Released December 31st 2019