A Review of the Jim Henry CD
"One-Horse Town"

"One-Horse Town"
by Jim Henry

Copyright 2005
email: intotheblu@aol.com

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Should you experience the compelling need to hear something 'new' penned by the late Dave Carter, purchase this CD now. Yes, this is an official Dave Carter fan emergency alert. For those of you who cannot get enough (who can?) of the artistic beauty Carter provided to this world, well, JIm Henry's version of "Quickdraw Southpaw's Last Hurrah' (QSLH) will provide a most visceral memory. It's a jolt because Henry's 'QSLW' vividly provokes both the sound and feel of Carter, so much so that this is the closest yet to the real thing of all the various 'covers.' And 'QSLW' is vintage Carter, a stirring mix of clever wordplay, evocative imagery ("sawdust prairie and a Big Top sky") and melancholy. Henry's slight drawl completes the package.

But that's not all. Henry provides some of his own compositions as well as a couple of other 'covers.' As for the latter, "St. James Infirmary," performed by such diverse artists as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Jan Joplin and The White Stripes, and probably having a genesis from a long ago Irish song, twines well with the smiliar-sounding jazzy, bluesy "Deep River Blues." The latter lament contains these confounding lyrics: "My old gal's a good pal, and she looks like a water fowl..."

Henry's own work begins with "One-Horse Town," a inter-generational song about parents providing the bedrock foundation of a genial small town upbringing, enabling their children to fly away to lives and locations of their own upon adulthood. "This Lullaby" references certain suspicious and sometimes humorous traits and ages--42, 9 and 7--which probably describe the birthdays counts of Henry and his two children. "Ruby" must certainly contain the only reference in song to long-time Kansas U.S. Senator and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole. Henry opens the song, a tribute to his daughter, with: "When Bob Dole spoke, your mom went into labor..." Bob Dole, labor inducer--that's one wild imagination.

Completing the offerings, "A Sad Farewell" is an instrumental that conveys a tinge of gloom.

With a Jim Henry release, his expertise on multiple string instruments is usually a highlight and it's no different here. Besides the main vocals, Henry plies his skill on guitar, dobro and mandolin while receiving backing from cohort Tracy Grammer on backup vocals and violin. Henry also typically mixes genres and that is also present as he goes from bluesy to jazz to folk to a little country-western.

You will enjoy this easy-going, affable collection of songs from a musician's musician.

Track List:

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