Brown Cow Productions
The Madison, Wisconsin based The Jimmys, sure know how to turn out some hot jumping blues and rhythm sounds. Their disc, "Hot Dish" (Brown Cow Productions), is a showcase for this band led by vocalist and keyboard player Jimmy Voegeli (pronounced "vaguely') which includes Pete Weber (ex-Hubert Sumlin) on guitar; Mauro Magellan on drums; Johnny Wartenweiler on bass and The Amateur Horn Stars; Darren Sterud (trombone/vocals), Pete Ross (saxophones), and Mike Boman (trumpet). Voegeli, Weber and Magellan contributed all the songs here.
This is a terrific band with the horns adding musical colors and texture far beyond the simple riffs of a number of groups with the songs ranging from the scorching "Loose That Woman," a rumba blues that evokes classic Ray Charles with some strong piano and a booting saxophone solo. There is a more stately tempo to Weber's "You Say You Will" which has a blistering guitar solo. Voegeli and Magellan contributed the funky "Freight Train" with Weber's guitar exhibiting a bit of twang. The aptly titled "Funk Schway" and a driving shuffle "Jacqui Juice" are two instrumentals that allow the players to stretch out. The T-Bone Walker style shuffle ""What Gives," with a slightly muffled vocal and some nice growling trombone embellishments and solo, while Vocelli lays down boogie woogie inflected piano. There is even a hint of Little Richard on the frenzied "She's Wild." If one track stands out it is the Charles Brown meets Ray Charles sounding "Saddest Man," with superb piano, a marvelous horn arrangement and terrific guitar and tenor sax solos support Voegeli's world weary vocal about a love that is lost.
The Jimmys are terrific whether playing jump blues, rock and roll, or Memphis funk, and the songs here are both idiomatic yet fresh. Tinsley Ellis (quoted on the cover) is right on, "The Jimmys have mined pure R&B gold with 'Hot Dish.'"
I received this my review copy from a publicist. Last Monday I posted a review of their most recent recording, "Live in Transylvania." This review originally appeared in the January-February 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 364). Here is a clip of The Jimmys performing.