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Jimmy Bowskill Band - Live

Ruf Records

Twelve tracks

The Jimmy Bowskill Band from Canada, has been nominated for "Electric Act Of The Year" at the 2011 Maple Blues Awards to be held at Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Monday, January 17, 2011. This album, issued under the auspices of the German entrepreneur, Thomas Ruf, is part of a concerted attack aimed at making the Bowskill name known across Europe and the world. This CD is an excellent step in the right direction.

Not yet 20 years old, Bowskill is a highly accomplished guitarist with touches of Hendrix, BB King and Paul Rogers in his work. Mentored for a long while by the late (also Canadian) Jeff Healey and all the while exercising audacious control over his music, Jimmy knows just how long to hold and bend notes and how to use dynamic flourishes to best effect. The influences mentioned above are reflected in the set list from this live gig: two Free songs, ‘Walk In My Shadows’ and ‘Ride A Pony’; a tribute to Hendrix with ‘Drifting Haze’; a cover of Peter Green’s ‘Rattlesnake Shake’ (don’t ask what it’s about Mom) and an exemplary version of B.B.King’s ‘Three O’Clock in the Morning’ are standouts. Bowskill is not afraid to go to the root too, producing a nice version of Blind Willy McTell’s ‘ Broke Down Engine’. There are also some ventures into Bowskill’s growing songbook and the whole thing is ably assisted by the other band members: Dan Neill on drums and Wayne Deadder on bass.

Sometimes CD releases of live concerts are confounded because of intrusive audience noise and/or because producers deviate from the set list as played altering the ‘feel’ of the gig as though the artiste(s) don’t know how to sequence to best effect. None of that here. The whole thing runs very smoothly and even includes a drum solo on ‘Karadag’ which is something that often gets cast to the winds when editing takes place. Good thinking by the label!.

Bowskill sings remarkably well and the changes in vocal phrasing and dynamic that will inevitably happen as he matures can only improve things.

All in all, an excellent ‘live’ outing. This one is recommended for anyone with a penchant for well sung, fiery blues rock.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This CD was reviewed as an indie CD before release by Ruf Records in our 12/24/09 issue. CLICK HERE to see that review.

Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South ( a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer (see and has a web cast regular blues radio show on www.phonic.FM in Exeter (Wednesdays: 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).

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