RSVP TO PARADISE
JOHNNY’S IN THE DOGHOUSE–HURRY SUNDOWN–RSVP TO PARADISE–EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT WARNING–LET ME TELL YOU
Jim Koeppel has played everywhere from Buddy Guy’s Legends to the Bluebird Cafe, and with just about anyone you can name, including Taj Mahal, Doc Watson, and Bilbo Walker. Quite the accomplished guitarist, he has just released a five-song EP showcasing material he wrote by himself and Cash McCall. It is entitled “RSVP To Paradise,” and is his third recording since 1998.
Up first is a tune that was the title cut to his 1998 project, a loping blues called “Johnny’s In The Doghouse,” and the harp is courtesy of Billy Branch. Given Jim’s propensity for also playing some of New York’s best-known venues, astute listeners may find, as did we, that this one has a cool Levon Helm vibe going on. Jim finds the old adage to be true that “love comes when you least expect it,” and he punches his “RSVP To Paradise,” with the help of legendary sax man Gene “Daddy G” Barge, and John Christy on B-3.
“Every Night Without Warning at 3 o’clock in the morning my mind drifts back to” a lover that is long gone, and this one uses brush-stroked drums and piano to create a jazzy vibe. The set closes with our favorite. “Let Me Tell You” chronicles a love affair that’s seen its share of ups and downs, but Jim’s in it for the long haul. It rides a driving “endless boogie” groove, and again features Billy Branch on harp.
Jim Koeppel has quite an impressive resume’, with his solo, acoustic, and electric works. Our only wish was that this one could’ve been a little longer. He has a firm grasp of different shades of blues herein, and “RSVP To Paradise” will definitely take you on a sweet journey! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.