Spun: Jimmy Zee

By Ken Clarke

Vancouver musician Jimmy Zee’s latest release is an R&B mixture of various genres bordering on blues rock, funk, soul and folk. Each track is dominated by Zee’s appropriately gravelly vocals which tie all of the song styles together into a cohesive whole. Zee penned all but one of the songs himself with the exception being a rocking blues cover of Sweeney Todd’s schmaltzy seventies pop hit “Roxy Roller.” Surprisingly, Zee and his band pull this one off with muster making it one of the best cuts on the disc. The large line-up of musicians are actually up to the task on all of the tunes, with top notch performances from each player.

Other highlights include the blues-flavoured title track and “Working Hard,” which incorporates some dirty slide guitar, Hammond organ, soulful female backing vocals and some monster harp playing. The funky “Bad End Boys” features an impressive horn section and some ultra clean guitar picking. “Boston City” and “Show Me” are other blues-styled numbers that stand out from some of the other overly sentimental ballads. The tamer cuts could have been left off the disc to make room for grittier blues tunes, since it’s what these guys do best. Hopefully Zee’s next offering will be the bona-fide blues album that he’s obviously capable of.

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