A Review of the Jim Henry CD
by Jim Henry
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
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
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.
- Deep River Blues (2:41) traditional/arranged.adapted by Doc Watson
- One-Horse Town (4:22) Jim Henry
- St. James Infirmary (4:05) traditional
- Quickdraw Southpaw's Last Hurrah (4:14) Dave Carter
- A Sad Farewell (3:30) Jim Henry
- This Lullaby (3:19) Jim Henry
- Ruby (3:18) Jim Henry
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