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Healin' Ground

Jimmy Thackery

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Album Review

One of America's best blues-rock guitarists, Jimmy Thackery plays hard-driving music that is best suited for the stage, but this album does him justice. He can get down and boogie with the best of them (as he shows on the good-natured opener, "Let the Guitar Do the Work"), play a stunning instrumental ("Fender Bender"), or just plain rock hard ("Devil's Toolbox"), and his music is leavened with a sense of humor — listen to him rework Henry Mancini's "A Shot in the Dark" as a sort of surf blues. This is not really subtle music, but it's all mightily effective, and Thackery is a seasoned enough professional not to become self-indulgent with his solos. He gets in, does the job, and gets out again. You might not find any stunning innovations in his music, but that's not why you listen to him anyway. He's just a hell of a player and singer. And the closer, Muddy Waters' "Can't Lose What You Never Had," offers him the chance to show off those mighty slide guitar chops.


Born: 19 May 1953 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer, songwriter, and guitar virtuoso Jimmy Thackery carved an enviable niche for himself in the world of electric blues. Known for his gritty, blue-collar approach and marathon live shows, Thackery was for many years part of the Nighthawks, one of the hardest-working blues bar bands in North America. By the late '80s, he was touring and recording under his own name, and finding widespread acceptance on the festival circuit. His hard-edged, tough-as-nails approach to guitar playing and his trio's...
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Healin' Ground, Jimmy Thackery
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