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TALKIN' BLUES

Jimmy Herring: Talkin' Blues, Bluegrass and More

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The spark of bringing together unusual combinations, like a classically trained bluegrass fiddler, a Cameroonian bassist, and a high energy guitarist, could have resulted in a musical culture clash, but for Jimmy Herring the bet paid off. While he might be modest and deferential on a personal level, his latest album is bold and expansive. It reveals a musician and composer comfortable tackling a wide array of styles and moods. “I thought of the studio itself an instrument, and I wanted to see what it was capable of and not worry about doing it live," that's how Jimmy ...

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Jimmy Herring: Subject to Change Without Notice

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Jimmy Herring Subject to Change Without Notice Abstract Logix 2012 With his first record since his stunning 2008 debut as a leader, Lifeboat (Abstract Logix), guitarist Jimmy Herring capitalizes on that album's strengths and ups the ante even further on Subject to Change Without Notice, featuring a core group of players with all the chemistry he needs, and some high-powered guest artists to ratchet things up even further. By Alan Bryson My favorite groups and albums often have this in common: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Jimmy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jimmy Herring: Subject to Change without Notice

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It's been four years since Lifeboat (Abstract Logix, 2008), guitarist Jimmy Herring's outstanding debut as leader. Herring hasn't been idle though, recording and touring with Widespread Panic. And given that it took several decades to make the first CD, four years isn't so long to wait for another-especially one this good. The emphasis is emphatically on melody, with tunes inspired, according to the guitarist, by the human voice. Herring's six-stringed voice is as sweet as a silver-tongued lark, but there's also muscle in its collective playing. Less compositionally focused, perhaps, than Lifeboat, the mixture of blues, bluegrass, and what Herring ...

TALKIN' BLUES

Talkin' Blues with Jimmy Herring

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Jimmy Herring is a musician who blurs lines, both in terms of genres and roles. Over the past two decades his work with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Gov't Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, Frogwings, Phil Lesh & Friends, Project Z, Jazz is Dead, and Widespread Panic has cemented his position as one of the world's premier progressive rock guitarists. He has the uncanny ability to fuse the visceral power of rock with the ingenuity of jazz harmonics without diminishing the essence of either. He's apt to describe himself as a sideman, yet in reality he's a consummate ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jimmy Herring: Lifeboat

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Jimmy Herring Lifeboat Abstract Logix 2008

Jimmy Herring is widely considered to be one of the greatest electric guitarists in the world. Long years lighting up the music of the Aquarium Rescue Unit, Jazz is Dead, Project Z and--in recent years--the Dead, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Widespread Panic have established his reputation as a guitarist with very few peers. Lifeboat, his first solo release, has plenty of electrifying playing from the man from North Carolina to be sure, but it is above all a showcase of his songwriting talents. Wisely perhaps, Herring has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jimmy Herring: Lifeboat

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No matter how adept they are at finding the place where rock energy and jazz harmony meets, fusion guitarists almost invariably favor one side of the equation. As raw and visceral as John McLaughlin and John Scofield can be, jazz remains the core of who they are, just as Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana are rockers at heart, despite occasionally turning to more jazz-centric material. Which makes Jimmy Herring all the rarer-- a guitarist sitting right in the middle, possessing all the unabashed power and edge of rock, but perfectly balanced with greater harmonic sophistication and rhythmic concepts. Well-known on ...

INTERVIEWS

Jimmy Herring: The Lifeboat Sessions and More

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Jimmy Herring has transitioned from an underground favorite to one of America's elite guitarists. The resume is now a dream, progressing from GIT to ARU, Frogwings to the Allman Brothers, Jazz is Dead to Phil Lesh and then on to the real thing--the actual Dead, if you will. Herring is the archetype for the melody-drenched lead man that can take it to far off galaxies. Somehow, nobody plays like Herring, but he's always capable of reminding sometimes huge audiences exactly what song he's playing and who he's playing with.

One other thing has remained a constant, even now ...



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