Ain’t Skeert Tunes
Jimmie Bratcher explores his country side with ten of his favorite country songs. For the most part he has rearranged them around their original melodies into what is very much blues songs. It’s an ambitious, interesting and fun voyage. Jim Gaines did the mix and it sounds really sweet. Bratcher is a self-proclaimed blues rocker who is not a country guy, but then he tells us in the liner notes that along with Jimi Hendrix Axis Bold as Love he played the Johnny Cash Live at Folson Prison at fourteen and his first concert was Patsy Cline’s last one. Who could argue with that musical taste?
He starts us off with Hank Williams’ “Honky Tonk Blues” and the ringing guitar and driving beat tells us this is going to be interesting. ”You Are My Sunshine” (Jimmie Davis) gets made over into a punk rockabilly sort of blues. Very odd, and very cool. Marty Robbins’ “Singing The Blues” is next. It’s a bouncy cut with a twang, a little slide and a nice guitar solo. “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” follows, a Hank Snow song. Bratcher eloquently croons and his guitar follows in step with the vocals; thoughtful and expressive stuff here! Buck Owens/Dusty Rhodes “Under Your Spell Again” is a little more upbeat and has a distinct country flavor as Bratcher again gives us a set of some nice vocals.
“Am I That Easy To Forget” is a Jim Reeves song is a country ballad that builds into a heavy blues song with big guitar and vocals to conclude the rendition. Marty Robbin’s “Don’t Worry About Me” moves from the country to what sounds more like a rockabilly ballad. A gutsy guitar lead and solo along with some nice organ fills makes this cool. Hank also gets a reprise with “My Sweet Love Ain’t Around.” Bratcher does this in an electric blues meets cowboy style, belting out the lyrics and blazing on his six string. Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens song “Today I Started Loving You” is up next. This one remains quite country with a neat telecaster-like sound and backing vocals that take us to church. Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You” gets a jazzed up make over. The organ and piano help lead us down the path with this one and then Bratcher come sin with a strident guitar solo to make some points. T’s clean and cool and interesting and the dual keys really add to this one.
Appearing on this along with Bratcher on vocals and guitar are Rick Yord on bass and vocals, Terry Hancock on drums and vocals, Aaron Mayfield on B3 and piano, Larry Van Loon on B3 and Wurlitzer, Amanda Fish on vocals and Sean McDonald on slide. These folks are tight and sound together throughout. Bratcher’s vocals are big and impressive and his guitar is tasteful and never overdone.
Ok, so we have a country album done as blues by a rocking sort of guy. It comes together and sounds really cool and makes for a very enjoyable listen. I liked this one a lot and think it’s well worth a few spins!