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It's Time

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Album Review

You might call Jimmy D. Lane a natural born bluesman. His father was the legendary Jimmy Rogers, who Jimmy D. shared the stage with for many years before recording on his own. Lane can play it '50s-style, as he did with his father and on Eomot RaSun's album, but he can also turn it up and rock out with any of the finest guitar slingers. For It's Time, Lane tackles a program of original tunes (except for one), with the aid of Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughan's rhythm section. These guys bring decades of experience to their blues rhythms, and know exactly how to support a player like Lane. Keyboard duties are split between Celia Ann Price on B3 and piano, and Mike Finnigan on the B3. In addition, the album was produced and engineered by the one and only Eddie Kramer, who adds crisp, clear production values and some very subtle studio tricks (check out the panning in the slide solo on "Stuck in the Middle"). As a writer, Lane sticks close to standard subject matter "What Makes People" is certainly a close cousin of Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing," but the variety of tempos and grooves and great playing all around keep the album exciting. The reggae-inflected acoustic rhythm guitar and congas give "Til I Loved You" a unique sound, and the acoustic guitar, haunting slide and general atmosphere of "Stuck in the Middle" brings Lane close to Little Axe territory. "Ain't It a Pity" adds a bit of gospel flavor, a wonderful liquid guitar tone and the slightest bit of echo on some of Lane's vocals to great effect. But most of these songs showcase Lane's considerable guitar prowess and tough playing style. Great guitar solos are in abundance all over It's Time, and Lane really gets a chance to stretch out on Elmore James' "Bleeding Heart" (yet another connection to Jimi Hendrix's legacy). Credit must also go to label/studio owner Chad Kassem for putting out blues albums that sound the way they ought to: real musicians playing real instruments together in the same space without the gloss and polish (especially on drums) that is the bane of too many modern blues albums. Any fan of serious blues guitar really needs to check out Jimmy D. Lane, and It's Time is an excellent place to start.

It's Time, Jimmy D. Lane
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