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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Jimmy Thackery - Live in Phoenix, AZ

Jimmy Thackery played live in Phoenix, AZ last night at Bob Corritore's Rhythm Room. First, as most of you know, I think that this is a terrific place to see a band (with Rolling Rock in stock) and it was standing room only. Jimmy and the Drivers, Mark "Bumpy Rhodes" Bumgarner (bass) and George "Bam Bam" Sheppard (drums) put on an absolutely excellent show. Now I'm not the kind of guy who takes a pencil to a concert so don't ask me what the track list was. I did talk with Sheppard between sets to see if they had a written set list and he indicated that Jimmy cues them for each and every song. I just gotta tell you, Jimmy knew exactly what to play to keep the crowd on it's heels. Jimmy opened the show with a barn burner blues rocker and the crowd reacted likewise. I think that it really pumped Thackery up because as many times as I've seen them, this was the most consistently excellent performance that I have seen. Tunes that I remember for sure that they played include Apache, Cool Guitars, Land Locked, Blind Man In The Night, T-Bome Shuffle, Bullfrog Blues and a ripping version of the Star Spangled Banner. he did play two full sets and I'm guessing over 3 hours. First I want to make a couple of comments about the surf tune selections like Apache and Land Locked. I think that Jimmy handles these tunes masterfully and I'm glad that he does them. They are written for great guitar players and I'm glad when a guitar virtuoso takes one on and pushes it out. Jimmy has some of the most lush, fat, shimmering tones you'd ever want to hear and that coupled with his subtle use of the trem bar makes for a great combination. Jimmy has about every guitar trick in his bag and he doesn't appear to feel the need to jam every one into every song but pulls them out sparingly at just the right moment to give the track the texture that it needs. Each of the band members was right on and I found myself watching Bumgarner a bit of the time. He really put me in mind of Leo Lyons of Ten Years After. Similar stature as well as style. He played really well and understated but actually played quite a bit of fill. Conversely, Sheppard almost stayed out of the way of the band, laying back with a minimal touch but did have a fairly long drum interlude which included his adopting a civil war style marching drum and leaving the trap set for a short while as he marched around the stage. Most impressive was his handling of the cymbals both during the routine performance as well as his solo work. Really nice job. But back to Jimmy. I saw some things in Jimmy last night that I hadn't seen before in that he looked to have his guitar by the throat. There are very few guitar players that I feel have a mastery of their instrument where they can actually take their guitar by the throat. Jimmy was sticking his fingers in places that the guitar really didn't like (up it's backside) and it was squealing like a baby. He was using the trem bar like "the master" and really pulled some terrific harmonics... and this is all during the contained part of the show. Jimmy did have one unconstrained part of the show where he did a rendition of the National Anthem... and he didn't copy Jimi... he played his own version of what can this guitar do, how can it do it, how bad can I make it hurt and can I taunt it till it screams. He had the guitar by the throat and it was gasping to keep up. He shows excellent fingering technique,beautiful chord control and selection, a fluttering picking style at the fretboard and some strange harmonic bends that had everyone watching in awe. I will also mention that I sat with 4 people that I didn't know and all 4 ended up being musicians. This was a show for musicians and everyone went home really satisfied. i did shoot a bit of film with my phone (in process of upload) but due to hard use during the day, I only got a short bit of footage . I spoke with the bandmembers and Jimmy briefly and they were all very gracious and gentlemanly. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and hope that you get the chance to see him when he comes your way. See the tour schedule below.

May 03, 2012
Highway 99 - Seattle, WA
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 04, 2012
Jazzbones - Tacoma, WA
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 05, 2012
Upstage - Port Townsend, WA
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 10, 2012
Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 11, 2012
Café Boogaloo - Hermosa Beach, CA
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 12, 2012
Boulder Station Casino - Las Vegas, NV
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 13, 2012
Anthology - San Diego, CA
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers
May 27, 2012
Santa Cruz Blues Festival - Santa Cruz, CA
*Jimmy Thackery SOLO with Coco Montoya

June 01, 2012
George's Majestic - Fayetteville, AR
June 02,2012
Knucklehead's - Kansas City, MO
June 09, 2012
Dauphin County Wine & Jazz Festival - Harrisburg, PA
* With special guest JP Soars!

August 04, 2012
Blues for the Zoo - Big Bear Lake, CA
August 05, 2012
High Street Theatre - Moore Park, CA
August 07, 2012
Bluesdays Concert Series - Olympic Valley, CA

Sept 01, 2012
Illinois State Blues Festiva'l - Peoria, IL
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