West Side Guitar Hero.
Fedora FCD 5022. Fresno 2002
Jimmy Dawkins- vocals/guitar; Frank Goldwasser- guitar; John Suhr- organ;
Henry Oden- bass; Chris Millar- drums.
1. Alley Mae (7.25)
2. Jammin' Gitar (4.08)
3. Go On Baby 6.40)
4. I'm What U Need (4.47)
5. Sweet Li'l Mama (6.33)
6. Everybody's Jumping (5.52)
7. Dollar Head Woman (4.59)
8. Wess Cide Rock (4.45)
9. Shee Leff Me (5.03)
11. So Wurrid (3.04)
12. U Made Me Luv U (4.28)
View the CD-cover at Rock´s
Me, My Guitar and the Blues was released in 1997. Ever since that album there
has been rumours of a new album. I heard from Jimmy himself he had one more
on his Ichiban-deal, and then the word was that the new album would be full
of surprises. After Jimmy had played some gigs with ZZ Top and other famous
rock/blues acts I feared Jimmy would do a "Buddy Guy"; invite rockstars
to sell more. And now, the new cd is finally out. Fedora has a good reputation
in producing both inspired and well sounded albums, and this cd is no exception.
Recorded in Fresno in late October 2001 with for me totally unknown band members,
now I found out that Frank Goldwasser is more known under the name Paris Slim
and have played with all the blues stars on the West Coast. The drummer Chris
Millar is also quite known, in an interview on the Internet he is recognized
as California´s Blues Ambassador, read it at http://www.lineonline.org/fresblues.html
The band is solid, It´s not blues bordering to rock as was the case on
the Ichiban/Wild Dog recordings, I especially enjoy Goldwasser´s smooth
and clean guitar which reminds me of some of the best rhythmguitarists from
around 1980. But I´m not entirely happy with the backup. They never get
in Jimmy´s way. They give perfect support and follows Jimmy´s every
intentions as close as if they where his shadows. I´d preferred if they
had dared to push Jimmy more. If Frank had turned his amp to eleven and played
a solo when Jimmy had thought to take one. I like when Jimmy is pushed, when
he´s challenged. His guitar, if not with as distorted tone as on Wild
Dog, is the disturbing factor, but without a band who is kicking Jimmy´s
balls, pardon the expression, it just at most times stays at the good level
and rarely gives you the featherly chill along your spine which makes you forget
time and space and which for me is the quintessence of listening to Dawkins.
But these magic parts is here and on track 5 and 6 everything comes together.
There is also a serious West Side feeling on this album. The title is not misleading!
- Alley Mae
The worst part first. 7.25 is at least three minutes to much. But for
the most times the long songs on this album actually works. On B Phur Real
nothing happened after 2.30, the songs just kept on going. Here the alert
backing can support Jimmy. Alley Mae is a cool slow funky blues with some
groovy guitar from Jimmy, but where he never gets off the ground.
- Jammin' Gitar
An instrumental where the title gives the idea away. A rhumba backing
with a more straight guitar from Jimmy. A good rehearsal track where Jimmy
can stretch his fingers an try som tremolo licks. The cd is still nothing
to write home about.
- Go On Baby
A West Side blues with a Californian lazy attitude? Goldwassers West Side
licks is far more relaxed than how let´s say Magic Sam or Hip Linkchain
would play them. But with the combination of Jimmy´s tough guitar the
hot and cool mixture transforms into something more than it´s parts.
The first really good track on the cd.
- I'm What U Need
Have you ever heard the Swedish blues band Chicago Express play James
Carr´s Pouring Water... No? They sounded like this. Pure Soul but the
excitement from Carr´s wailing isn´t there and the band is not
as rough as Reggie Young, Tommy Coghill, Bobby Woods, Bobby Emmons, Gene Chrisman
and the Memphis Horns was behind James Carr. I still like this song, maybe
because Chicago Express was my intro to the real deep soul. Their singer Sven
Zetterberg is awesome. Check out his impressive homepage.
Ok, back to Dawkins. A good and sweet track. A perfect filler which turns
you into a happy mood.
- Sweet Li'l Mama
Down in the Alley! A real low down Jimmy with the most aggressive guitar
this far and some real attack in the singing. I love it when Jimmy in the
end screams and then follows it up with his blistering runs. This also the
first song where the band seems inspired. John Suhr throws in an intense organ
solo and even Goldwasser is allowed to hit his chords a bit louder. 6.33 seems
far too short here. Jimmy just found the groove when the song is faded out.
- Everybody's Jumping
This I like. Just as on Roc-kin-sole, Jimmy turns on ordinaray dance tune
with happy lyrics into an absurd performance on slashing blues guitar. The
band is rather bouncy where the second guitar is playing cute chords. Jimmy
on the other hand is wrecking the party with guitar runs which had been more
suited on a song about nuclear war or something. Watch out Beckett!
- Dollar Head Woman
One of the best tracks on the album where Goldwasser gives the song a
real West Side touch. Jimmy plays backup during the organ solo and as usual
he is mixed way up. Very enjoyable! A tough no-nonsense song.
- Wess Cide Rock
With a title like this you can expect what you´ll get. It reminds
me a lot of the instrumentals on All for Business. Jimmy is as fast and sharp
as he was then. But here is no Otis Rush who gives the elegancy those tracks
gave. Still lots and lots of Jimmy´s trademark guitar with is ever fascinating
tremololick and killer tone up front.
- Shee Leff Me
Jimmy´s voice is strangled and full of tears when his woman left
him. A kind of rollicking West Side slow blues which never really moves
- So Wurrid
Jimmy´s goes gospel and musically it works better than on the tries
on Feel the Blues and Kant Sheck dees Bluze. At the end it sounds a bit like
Jimmy´s version of Nightlife.The lyrics are a direct comment on the
11th September tragedy. 3.04. The shortest song on this cd is actully too
short. The song ends before it gets going.
- U Made Me Luv Ua
A funky blues which is Ok. The most fun part is Jimmy´s ugly chording
on the organ solo. No one throws these chords as Dawkins.