Pinch Me, Am I Dreaming?

Jimmy Pinch: Western Morning News – Album Review

Reviewed By Harry Kaplan

Did I just get hit in the head with a ten pound cinder block? No, I’m listening to Jimmy Pinch’s new album, “Western Morning News“. Some may argue that those actions are one in the same. Jimmy, who hails from across the pond in England put out a dandy of a release last month that is quite worthy of some attention. This release is nothing fancy. What I mean by that is there is limited knob twisting, no production tricks, and no overdubs. Just a man, his band, and a multitrack. Here are some quotes from Jimmy’s Bandcamp page:

“This album was written since Jimmy Pinch left London for country life many years ago. He mixes soul, country, blues, rock, rockabilly, punk blues, and Spanish styles, the songs often tell stories of difficult or funny situations as well as love songs. No A.I., computers, or auto-tune was used in the making of this album. All songs written and produced by Jimmy Pinch.”

If you like auto-tune and the more modern recording techniques, that’s great. I have no beef with you. But, if you like music made old school where the artist hits record and plays as if they were playing live, you’ve come to the right place.

There is a whole host of different styles that are proudly displayed on “Western Morning News”. The style that is the most prominently showcased is a very interesting interpretation of delta blues. I will coin the term, “punk infused delta blues”. There are also elements of rock and roll, country, and even some pop.

If you listen to the first track, for instance, Has Anybody Seen John? you can really hear the blues influence that is heavily peppered with weirdness. And weirdness in the best sense of the word. This track even includes an incredibly loud burp at 42 seconds in, and it totally works in the song. I don’t think I have ever said that in the writing of over 500 reviews. So that’s definitely a first for me. This song is based on real events about a friend of Jimmy’s that sort of went missing and the speculation about what happened.

There is the proper mix of rawness and polish on this release. In other words, there is a little something for all tastes. But if raw blues is your thing, as it is mine. pay particular attention to Breaking Into Prison, Little Vagabond, and Your Medicine. That will give you a healthy daily dose of the blues.

There are also some real rockers on “Western Morning News”. Bring Down The Man is one such tune. It’s like a punch in the gut. It’s very hard hitting and has an awesome groove. The title is self explanatory and should not require a lot of interpretation. The highlight of this track for me is Jimmy’s slide guitar work. Absolutely brilliantly played and arranged. Great power chord fills and vocals round out the track to make it a well balanced meal.

I would call this an essential release that is simple and yet complex. A real paradox. Like Captain Beefheart and Tom Waites, it may not put the hooks into you right away, but you will definitely get the sense that is is worth another listen. Do no give up on this release. Your perseverance will pay off ten fold.

Listen and buy “Western Morning News” here.

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