This down-to-earth blues album by Jimmy Hall and The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Collective comes as a tribute to an unsung member of the southern blues community. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Eddie Hinton (1944-1995) was one of those guys who held genius in the palm of his hand but couldn't handle it in the end. We've known other jazz and blues artists who followed a similar course. It's always tough on those who were close to the center of it all. When Hinton passed on at age 51, he left behind many compositions and recordings to remember him by. Some of those compositions, however, had fallen by the wayside. This album brings eleven of Hinton's songs to life with southern-fried blues passion.
With Build Your Own Fire, Jimmy Hall and this selected band of blues regulars resurrects that music with flair. There's plenty of heart to go around. Vocals, harmonica, guitars, organ, bass and drums come together in contemporary blues band fashion to make things happen.
Hall delivers with authority. He's got the genuine spirit to move people in ways that the blues has always intended. His soulful reading of these songs, coupled with complementary asides from the band, keep that flame alive. "Build Your Own Fire burns with a blues/rock backbeat that centers on Hall's extended lyric message. Unlike most blues tales of woe and sorrow, this one uplifts with a message that encourages us to get back on track, make your own way in the world, and make sure that positive things happen to you.
Elsewhere, the album attempts to allay our fears and ease our difficulties by tellin' stories that relate to our everyday lives. Hall's soulful voice and blues harp put the message right there in our laps. He's a comfort to all, and a beacon of strength for blues lovers the world over.
Track Listing: Still Want to Be Your Man; Salty; Here I Am; Poor Old Me; Coming After You; Cover Me; Build Your Own Fire; Itís All Wrong; Watchdog; What Will I Do Without You; I Found a True Love; Coming After You (bonus track); Salty (bonus track); interview by David Hood on Eddie Hinton.
Personnel: Jimmy Hall: vocals, harmonicas; Clayton Ivey: keyboards; Larry Byrom: guitars; Greg Martin: guitars; David Hood: bass; Jonathan Dees: drums; Delbert McClinton: vocal (1); Kira Small: vocals (2, 12), Bruce Dees: vocal (3).
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.