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An Evening With Jimmie Spheeris

Jimmie Spheeris

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Album Review

After reissuing all of Jimmie Spheeris' Epic titles on CD in the late '90s, Rain came out with two previously unreleased Spheeris recordings in 2000. One was Spheeris, which contains material he recorded in 1983 and 1984 (the year of his untimely death). The other is this live two-CD set, which was recorded at a small club in Willimantic, CT, in October 1976. These performances remained in the can for 24 years and finally became commercially available thanks to Johnny Pierce, who was Spheeris' bassist from 1973-1980 and had been keeping them in his private collection. While the sound quality is good, if imperfect, Spheeris' intimate performances are first rate. The singer/songwriter never came out with an official live album when he was alive, and the release of Evening is certainly cause for celebration. No Spheeris fan could resist the chance to hear live versions of "Seeds of Spring," "I am the Mercury," "The Dragon Is Dancing," "The Nest," or "Eternity Spin." Spheeris also performs a few songs that aren't on any of his studio albums, including the Buddy Johnson standard "Since I Fell for You" and "Rosie's Night Out" (which takes a look at the sleazier side of Hollywood Boulevard). Casual listeners would be better off starting out with Isle of View or The Dragon Is Dancing, but for the confirmed Spheeris enthusiast, this double-CD is a joy to listen to.

Biography

Born: 05 November 1949 in Phenix City, AL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

The poetic singer/songwriter Jimmie Spheeris was born November 5, 1949. His debut LP, Isle of View, was issued on Columbia in 1971 and made him the subject of a rabid cult following, a fan base boosted with the 1973 release of The Original Tap-Dancing Kid. In tandem with producer Henry Lewy, Spheeris resurfaced in 1975 with The Dragon Is Dancing, but after The Ports of the Heart appeared a year later, he found himself without a recording contract, and excepting a 1980 single, "Hold Tight," he released...
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