Mon, Apr 8, 2013.
Fomer Sackvillian Jimmie returns with another stacked-up, home-cooked pot of hooks, happy tunes and cranked guitar. Recorded by himself in some cabin where he's hanging in remote-ish Manitoba, Jimmie piles up the overdubs on his four-track, making lots of crunchy songs with clever couplets, lines you can't, and don't want to get out of your head. Like the adopted brother of both Joel Plaskett and Julie Doiron, there's lots of catchy numbers full of observational, tiny details turned into cool stories.
Standing In A Line gives us a quick peek into life as a touring alternative musician: "On the with the showbiz/If you like sleeping on couches." Skype Date is just that, getting ready for a long-distance hook-up: "Close my email and all other applications/I don't want to freeze up and add any other complications." It's not even about the date, it's about the waiting. Bridge Street Stage takes us to the annual Sappyfest in Sackville, on stage, and in a tent under the night sky, the experience for both the performer and any audience member. These songs, plus most on the album, clock in between one and two minutes, like excellent little thoughts, perfect in themselves, no need of developing them into bigger ideas, or figuring what they're about. But he can, and does throw in some longer ones as well, including Proud Champions, as sweet a love song as he's ever done, and I Will Climb Mountains, right after it, where he gets unhinged with the lead guitar.
It's all happy and healthy, and despite the low-fi methods, is surprisingly big too. Much of that is because of his prowess with the guitar, and the nice, full vocals he slaps on the tracks, not buried at all. As always, best of all is how much fun he's having recording and mixing, and how much fun it is to hear. Catch Shotgun Jimmie in Fredericton at The Capital Thursday, April 11, and back home in Sackville at the Legion, Friday the 12th.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).