Jim Suhler review…March 3, 2014…

JIM SUHLER

PANTHER BURN

UNDERWORLD RECORDS  UNDO  0023

PANTHER BURN–I DECLARE–ACROSS THE BRAZOS–LEAVE MY BLUES BEHIND–I SEE YOU–REMEMBER MAMA–TEXASSIPPI–SKY’S FULL OF CROWS–BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAY–DINOSAUR WINE–AMEN CORNER–ALL GOD’S CHILDREN GET THE BLUES SOMETIME–JUMP UP SISTER–WORLDWIDE HOODOO

Jim Suhler perhaps gained his widest notoriety alongside George Thorogood as a member of the vaunted Destroyers since 1999, altho, for hard-core fans, he and his band, Monkey Beat, have cranked out tough Texas blues since the mid-Nineties.  Their lates release, “Panther Burn,” consists of thirteen of Jim’s originals, and one perhaps unexpected cover.  His guitar prowess is on display throughout, and he successfully melds the Texas swing-influenced blues with the murky silt of the Delta to make this set quite a diverse one, indeed.

The ride starts with Jim’s slide dobro leads as he encourages his paramour to “leave your garter on the dash, ’cause we’re goin’ back to Panther Burn.”  “Across The Brazos” and “Texassippi” both utilize accordion to fortify their country-blues themes, while Tim Alexander’s organ over Jim’s lead in “Amen Corner” takes a neat turn into the gospel theme of “All God’s Children Get The Blues Sometimes,’ with guest vocals from Carolyn Wonderland and Ray Benson.

In 2002, Jim lost his daughter, Brittany, in a tragic auto accident, and the haunting “I See You” serves as a tribute to her memory.  The lyrics show his pain, as “I see you every place I go.’  This song segues’ into Jim’s ethereal instrumental read of “Remember Mama” from the classic film, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” a connection that perhaps only Jim and his memories could make.

We had two favorites, too.  Jim closes the set by dropping some serious blues-rock full of “bad bad juju” as he sends out a “Worldwide Hoodoo comin’ for you!”  And, he rocks out a smokin’ roadhouse boogie with “I Declare,” featuring  Kim Wilson on the harp, and Tim’s barrelhouse piano.

Jim Suhler continues to expand his musical boundaries with albums the caliber of “Panther Burn.”  His playing is exemplary, and his original songs shake you down to your soul!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: