Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jim-n-Lisa - 16 Grams

Hear The Track Here

Considering the major attention Jim-n-Lisa have garnered over the past couple of years, and no not just from me, I'm more than a little surprised that when browsing over their Soundclick webpage that the page isn't a hell of a lot busier than it is. Moreover, that the list of radio stations playing their material is a bit on the low side IMO. Ladles and gerbils, THIS is a band that was born for radio. What? You look like an unbeliever. Tell ya what, go to their webpage that's the first link), pick a track, any track. Be blown away like the rest who us who have been exposed to this superlative talent, and thrill to the sound of your jaw flapping on the floor. I take a great deal of care and a lot of Deep Thought to come up with my Artist Of The Year award and I don't give it to just anyone. I am immensely proud that I picked J-n-L as my AOTY 2004 and IMHO they have proved that beyond measure with the releases AFTER they won the award.

Now read on...and DO get with the program.

The reason Jim-n-Lisa are the darlings of SC, Songplanet and all points west is that they make music that thrills, amazes and - the ultimate goal - touches people where they live. It has to be said that the driving force behind this artist is Mr W. James Miller, a multi-instrumentalist, seriously good songwriter and a producer par excellence all in one slightly dodgy package. Their music is a wild blend of just about anything, although alternative is as good a place to start as any. Certainly Sixteen Grams is highly representative of what Jim-n-Lisa is all about. In fact, after listening to it for about a week now, it is absolutely typical Jimbo fare; laconic vocals that are as dry as the Texas deserts where he lives, seriously chunky rhythm track (in all the best ways) and - for me the best part of all - peppered with little slices of Jim's favourite WMD; his sax.

Lots of people go all weak at the knees with a well played sax, but in Jim's case it's not just the way he plays it but the sounds he manages to get. He has one of the finest recorded sax sounds it has ever been my pleasure to hear, in the real world or here online. The main feature of Sixteen Grams (at least for me) is the way Jim has worked the classic (1946, by the great Merle Travis) workingmans song Sixteen Tons into the structure of his own track and booooy does it work well. See, that is what makes a great talent; a great idea, a flawless (or as near as damnit) performance and a sound so sharp you could shave with it. Terrific stuff from my favourite SC artist and had it not contained that segment of Sixteen Tons I would have said this would appeal more to J-n-L fans as opposed to someone new to them. It's inclusion makes it ultra special and something everyone should get a listen to. So, all together now. 'Sixteen tons and what do you get?, another day older and deeper in debt, St Peter don't you call me 'cos I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store'

Amen to that brothers and sisters. MUST HAVE.

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