Ain’t Skeert Tunes
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © April 2021
A conversation at the House of Blewzz while “I’m Hungry” was playing…
Blewzzlady: (calling out from the other room): That’s a really good CD you have on, what’s it called?
Me: I’m Hungry.
Blewzzlady: What’s that got to do with it? Just tell me the name of the CD you have on.
Me: I’m Hungry.
Blewzzlady: You’re always hungry. Just tell me the name of that CD already?
Me: I said I’m Hungry
Blewzzlady: Alright, I’ll make you a sandwich, but not until you tell me the name of the CD you’re playing.
Me: It’s the new CD by Jimmie Bratcher and it’s called “I’m Hungry”. It’s red hot smokin’ blues to inspire your appetite.
Blewzzlady: Then maybe you should stop listening. Your appetite doesn’t need any more inspiring.
Talking about appetites and eating, “I’m Hungry” can be purchased as a cookbook and EP, as well. It was created by Jimmie and his wife Sherri and it includes 196 pages of recipes from some of the finest professional chefs, friends, and family. You can find out a whole lot more about that at Jimmie’s website, and as usual, a link will be at the bottom of my review. Now – or as soon as I finish the sandwich that the Blewzzlady just made me – I’m gonna talk about some of those appetite inspiring songs.
“I’m Hungry” is Jimmie Bratcher’s twelfth release. With its ten originals and two covers mixing in many different styles of blues, it’d be safe to refer to it as a gumbo of songs. For the project, the sous chefs joining Executive Chef Jimmie Bratcher, on guitars and vocals, are: Craig Kew on bass; Terry Hancock on drums; Aaron Mayfield on B3 and keys; Joe Selle and Brandon Draper on drums; John Selle and Eric Stark on keys; and the late, great Larry Van Loon on B3 and keys.
Thus far, what I’ve had to say has been somewhat comical but now it’s time to get serious – NOT! On the opening track, “I Love Her Name”, when you hear Jimmie say…
“When I hear her name my whole world starts to quake.
My knees get weary and my hands began to shake.
My heart starts pounding and I know just what to say.
Well I can’t live without her I got to have her in my life,
No I can’t do without her I need her all the time.
She’s on my mind morning, noon and night.”
You’ll probably start thinking that this is someone you’d love to meet. Then once he says her name you’ll realize you already have. You see, the next line goes like this…..”Her name is food, food, food”….and when she gets near Jimmie with that aroma, man she knocks him right into a coma. Inasmuch as the lyrics may sound fattening, there won’t be any weight gaining here. Reason being is that the punishing rhythm, led by absolutely wild piano playing by John Selle, has the whole band playing like they’re on a runaway treadmill. Fun, fast and furious track, to say the least.
Finding out that Jimmie’s doctor told him to “cut out the cheese and fried foods”, Sherri is going to do her best to make all that happen. Simply said, there ain’t gonna be no finger pickin because “Mama Won’t Fry No Chicken”. That said, although it’s not on any chicken, Jimmie’s doin’ some serious pickin’ on those guitar strings.
With food and eating being the primary topics here, there probably won’t be any love songs or ballads, right? Wrong! The next two tracks will attest to that. The first one is titled “Bacon On My Mind” and with the heartfelt deliverance of the very descriptive lyrics, there will be no doubt that there is indeed a love affair going on here. Musical highlights include powerful rhythm from the hands of Craig Kew, and Joe Selle on the bass and drums, and monster piano and guitar leads from John Selle and Jimmie.
On this very tender…or perhaps, very tenderized…ballad, Jimmie’s wonderfully emotional and passionate vocal presentation leaves no doubt about his sincerity as he tells Sherri, “Baby, I Like What Your (sic) Cooking”. Although it happens throughout most of the album, Jimmie’s masterful ability to take downright funny lyrics and meld them with absolutely beautiful music has never been more evident than right here. I guess the contrast of the soothing sound of the brushes on the drums, the finessed tickling of the ivories and the subtle guitar leads on this soft jazzy tune had a lot to do with that.
As he runs down a list of some of his favorite “Q” joints – although it doesn’t seem to matter – Jimmie’s wondering “Where You Gonna Stop?”. It stands to reason that if you’re going to do a song about some of the best barbecue spots in Kansas City, you might as well make it a “smoker” and the guys are totally all over that.
By now, since he’s closing out the disc with the first song that has nothing at all to do with food, Jimmie might be full instead of hungry. It’s titled “Happy” and it’s the second of two instrumentals (and yes, the first had a title that related to food). With the focus totally on the music, Jimmie, Craig, Terry, and Aaron showcase their mastery on the guitar, bass, drums, and B3 organ. Making absolutely no reference to food, this one was very well done.
Other tracks on “I’m Hungry” include: “Government Cheese” (K. R. Moore); that other “Greasy” instrumental; “Chicken Tastes The Same”; “Green Bananas” – Remix; “Grits Ain’t Groceries” (T. Turner); and “Bologna Sandwich Man”.
To find out more about Jimmie Bratcher just go to his website – www.jimmiebratcher.com . Wherever you go and whomever you talk to, please tell them the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient