Jimmy Carpenter – Soul Doctor | Album Review

Jimmy Carpenter – Soul Doctor

Gulf Coast Records


CD: 10 Songs, 45 Minutes  

Styles: Horn Blues, Soul, Contemporary Electric Blues Rock

Horn maverick Jimmy Carpenter is the Soul Doctor the 21st century sorely needs. Not only is he a powerhouse vocalist and killer songwriter, but his sax is second to none. It sings. It roars. It tells stories of lost love, found love, a “Wrong Turn” or two, and New Orleans. His newest album features ten tracks (seven originals and three covers) as hot as a boiling pot of gumbo. Instrumentally, there’s a lot going on, which can be overwhelming – as in the first song. Nevertheless, such an approach tells listeners that Carpenter and company wield their music like Thor’s hammer: unparalleled and unstoppable. Need more proof? Listen and dance for yourself.

Jimmy began his musical journey over 35 years ago. In the ‘80s, he toured the East Coast with the renegade blues band The Alka-Phonics, and in the ’90s with the blues-rock band The Believers, with whom he learned about the music business. Over the years, Jimmy has toured internationally with Tinsley Ellis, Jimmy Thackery, Walter Wolfman Washington, Eric Lindell, and others. In 2012 Jimmy joined Mike Zito, his long-time musical cohort, and recorded and toured as a member of Mike Zito and the Wheel. In addition, Jimmy has written, arranged and recorded the horns for many artists, and has gained a reputation as a master Blues, Rock-n-Roll and R&B saxophonist. Jimmy has also released three solo albums: Toiling in Obscurity (2008); Walk Away (Vizztone 2014), and Jimmy Carpenter Plays the Blues (Vizztone 2017). After many years in New Orleans, he currently lives in Las Vegas with his partner in crime and musical inspiration, Ms. Carrie Stowers. In addition to leading his own band and playing with numerous others, he is the Musical Director for the Big Blues Bender and leader of the Bender Brass, The Bender’s house band. He is the current president of the Las Vegas Blues Society, and in 2019 was nominated for a Blues Music Award, his fourth for Best Instrumentalist/Horn.

Musicians include Jimmy Carpenter on lead vocals, sax and guitar; Cameron Tyler on drums, percussion and background vox; Jason Langley on bass; Trevor Johnson on guitar; Chris Tofield on guitar and background vocals; Nick Schlebelen on guitar for track one; Mike Zito on guitar for track four; Red Young on Hammond B3, piano, and Wurlitzer piano; Carrie Stowers, Queen Aries, and harpist Al Ek on background vocals; Doug Woolverton on trumpet, and Mark Earley on baritone sax.

Standout tracks include “Wild Streak,” a ballad about a ramblin’ gal from a “two-bit town” who leaves home for fame and fortune in California; “Wanna Be Right,” containing advice for those in a relationship who always have to have the last word; “Wrong Turn,” the hard-driving tale of a ne’er-do-well who lives for himself for a while before he’s locked up for good, and “Yeah Man,” the most encouraging sing-along cover for a year that’s barely started. Even people who can’t sing can repeat that earworm title. Another surprise is “Lofi Roulette.” This instrumental is one part funk, one part jazz, one part techno, and one part blues. All magical, of course. As atmospheric as it is, it should have been the finale.

Soul Doctor is dynamic, daring, and delectable – food for one’s body, mind and spirit!

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