King James And THe Special Men review…May 6, 2017…

KING JAMES AND THE SPECIAL MEN

ACT LIKE YOU KNOW

SPECIAL MAN INDUSTRIES

SPECIAL MAN BOOGIE–BABY GIRL–EAT THAT CHICKEN–TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO–THE END IS NEAR–9TH WARD BLUES

Front man Jimmy Horn knew he was on the cusp of something special when players such as Sturgill Simpson and St. Paul And The Broken Bones began to borrow his regular horn players.  He decided it would be best for everyone just to form his own group, and did so, starting King James And The Special Men to carry on the traditions of  good-time party-flavored New Orleans R & B and funk.  Natch’l fact is, they made their debut at Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-In-Law Lounge, and they could play some 400 songs from every vaunted canon of NOLA performers you could name.

They’ve just completed their debut album, entitled “Act Like You Know,” on the Special Man Industries label.  These six originals will transport you straight down to Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday, and all are done in the horn, keys, and percussion traditions of the Big Easy.

That infectious, danceable groove kicks off, as Jimmy proclaims himself “your Special Man,” vowing to “bury everybody that have done me wrong!”  Both “Tell Me What You Want Me To Do” and “Baby Girl” are excellent slow-blues efforts that will evoke memories of Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones for many listeners.

Jimmy likes to keep his songs simple, so the crowds can embrace them, and “Eat That Chicken” hits the spot perfectly, with its slyly-sexy tale of the “gypsy woman” and Jimmy’s love for that “jelly roll!”  That tune, along with the set-closer, served as our favorites.  “9TH Ward Blues” adapts the Diddley beat for Jimmy’s vocals, where the denizens there have been known to “eat fire and drink blood!”  Then, at about the  3:45 mark, the whole things roars down Basin Street in an instrumental second-line party that runs until the climax!

Jimmy Horn cut his musical teeth on the styles of the NOLA legends.  With his powerful originals that comprise “Act Like You Know,” he’s proven that he belongs among them all!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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