“Gotta Have It”
Brown Cow Productions
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © 2020
Back in November of 2015, I started out my review of “Hot Dish” – The Jimmy’s second release – by clarifying that the band was not full of a bunch of musicians named Jimmy, and that is still true. Although changes have been made to the ensemble on “Gotta Have It”, the bands fifth release, Jimmy Voegeli – on lead vocals, piano, Hammond B-3 organ and clavinet – is still the only Jimmy in the band. That said, the rest of the talented bunch include: Perry Weber on guitar and lead vocals; Peterson Ross on saxophone; John Wartenweiler on electric and acoustic bass; Kevin Feyzi and Kyle Samuelson on trombone; Mike Boman and Kurt Shipe on trumpet; Tony Braunagel, the disc’s producer, on drums; Al Falaschi on baritone saxophone; Marcia Ball on lead and background vocals; Melodye Perry and Mike Finnigan on background vocals; Wally Ingram on percussion; and Greg Koch on slide guitar.
Of the disc’s thirteen tracks, eleven are originals with most penned by Jimmy and Perry, and a few others being collaborations between them with Marcia Ball and Tony Braunagal.
The disc opens with one of the originals titled “Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” and in many ways, the song’s a statement and a promise, as well. It features Perry, wailing away on guitar and lead vocals; and Jimmy wailing away on piano; leading just about everyone in the above credits on a dance floor filling blues rocker.
She took his house and took all his money. She threw his clothes in a garbage sack and drove away with his brand new Cadillac. Now Jimmy’s got to “Write A Hit” to get that back. On a track they co-wrote (along with Tony), this hilarious duet features Jimmy and Marcia going toe to toe exchanging break up barbs. Musically, with Tony and John leading the way on the drums and bass, and the horns right there with them, this one features fabulous rhythm.
At barely over three minutes long there’s a lot happening on “She Gotta Have It”. With a significant rhythm going on behind them, there’s enough time for Jimmy and Perry to light things up on piano and guitar highlights and solos, and for the background gals – sounding wonderfully like a pop-bubble-gum group – to entice you to sing-a-long on the chorus line. Fun stuff!
When this track started up, I’d have made a very large – and losing – bet, that I was about to hear “Scratch My Back” – the 1960’s R&B hit that put Slim Harpo on the charts. Although that is one of my favorite songs, with the job The Jimmys did on this original track titled “Started Up Again”, I was not at all disappointed.
On what my ears are telling me is a stand-up bass, John is at disc’s best on another rhythm fueled track called “Drinkin”. That said, the front guys are nailing it as well. Jimmy is laying down some of my personal favorite piano sounds with a lot of fancy, right-handed, high end leads; and Perry, along with several scorching guitar leads, is giving a very appropriate vocal sound to a song about drinking.
“Always A Woman” (Gary Nicholson) is another track that pretty much features everyone in the credits getting in on the action. It’s a bit of a funky number with outstanding lead and harmony vocals, intense organ and horn highlights, and some real crazy rhythm and percussion. Definitely the disc’s most unique entity.
Search this song on the Internet and you’ll come up with so many different versions, listing so many different writers, that it actually gets confusing. That said, “Someday Baby” was written by someone I’m assuming is a good friend of Jimmy’s – fellow Wisconsinite Jim Liban. Because it’s old school, slow and low down blues with: soulful vocals; stinging blues guitar licks; steamy saxophone leads; and that soft and oh so tight organ led rhythm; it is by far my favorite of the lot.
Other original tracks on “Gotta Have It” include: “Grim Reaper”; “Hotel Stebbins”; “When You Got Love”; “Words And Actions”; “Take You Back”; and “Jose”.
Before closing, I’d like to throw some kudos out to Tony Braunagel for his masterful producing skills. Over the many years I’ve been listening to the blues, I’ve come across many releases on which Tony was a first time producer of an artist that had several prior releases and on just about all of them, I had felt it was that artist’s best work. That – and the fact that this is one of the Jimmy’s best releases – are by no means a coincidence. Way to go Tony.
To find out more about the Jimmys, purchase their albums or request a copy of “Gotta Have It” for airplay, just go to www.thejimmys.net. When you do, please tell Jimmy Voegeli that the Blewzzman sent you. Also, once live shows start up again, if you’ve not yet seen the Jimmys – you must! I had the pleasure of doing so at last year’s Bonita Blues Festival and I was blown away. The band is electrifying and Jimmy himself is mesmerizing.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient