Share MOVING AT THE SPEED OF SOUND - The Jim Rockfords (Turkey Neck)
Some people use the term 'meat and potatoes' as a term of general musical abuse. They should think of it as more a description of intent: Bands playing this stuff well can make a genuine connection with their audience without trying to be something they are not. Think of this debut album for this Brisbane band as a Ploughman's Lunch i.e. traditional hearty pub fare with extras, and tuck in.
The Jim Rockfords have their roots in Six Ft Hick (drummer Fred escapes from behind the traps to play guitar), big local draw Lovejoy and the Brizzy blues scene. The Rockfords play working class rock with dollops of boogie, trucker cap rock and Chicago blues.
As a live band and as cliched as it sounds, they're the sum of their parts. Vocalist Junior Hickey stands and delivers in a matter-of-fact, blues-shoutin' way and adds blues harp for colouring. Bassist Kylie Lovejoy (ex-Lovejoy and Chick Flicks) hyperactively bounces around and is the focal point. Second guitarist Phil Wilson adds a rhythmic undertone that was sorely missed when he opted out of a couple of shows I saw in 2010. Mitchy Mayhem does the job on drums without resorting to extraneous fills.
As for the album, "Speed Of Sound" is the obvious airplay track, an amalgam of punchy guitars and a hip-swinging beat with Junior Hickey delivering a great vocal. "Dead Man's Boots" does the business with the boogie beat and harp while "Tail Lights" puts a harder edge on the familiar idiom of driving music songs.
If you're looking for familiar reference points there are a couple of (uncredited) covers to set you right. The bristling version of Randy Newman's "Have You Seen My Baby?" might be a surprise choice. It sounds pretty fine. "Putty In Your Hands" (original by the Shirelles) goes closest in style to the Detroit Cobras, who also covered it, sans the sultry vocal.
There are 11 tracks delivered from the shoulder with the production (Jeff Lovejoy with the band) transparently uncomplicated to match. No boundaries are breached here but you don't always need grandiose ideas to connect. - The Barman
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