What can I said that hasn't already been said about Jim? He's a little bit quirky, a little bit eccentric, a little bit silly... all things that I think embody Sackville, and I think Jim is one of the reasons they do. He and Fred brought so much of what I love about Sackville back with them from Dawson City (not least of which being Shotgun & Jaybird) and what was already here they helped grow. I don't think that Sackville would be the town it is with the aura it has without Shotgun & Jaybird, all of them, Jim, Fred, Paul, Julie... but I'm running away with myself. This is a post about the new record, nothing more.
So then what is the new record? It's mighty different from The Onlys, which in turn was mighty different from The 6000 True Stories of Love, so it can be said that Jim is a bit of a chameleon. (If I ever run out of new stuff to review, watch for retro reviews of these guys coming up..) Still Jimmie is a harder, more cynical record. I think this is best displayed in how these two records start out.
Duet starts: "Let me play you a song, and if you like it you can sing along, and if we make it all the way through it, we'll do it again but then we'll call it a duet." vs. Mind Crumb's "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm super-fine. I'm tired, I'm tired, tired all the time. Go back, go back, go back anytime; go back to find: did we really mess it up?" and this really sets the tone for the record. Don't get me wrong. I love the record, I'm not trying to put it down. But the guitars are so much more powerful, and the underlying theme seems like longingly looking into the rear-view mirror as you're driving away from something you loved but just couldn't bear anymore.
Last time out, we had an unforgettable and adorablue duet on The Onlys featuring Ilse Kramer. This time around, we have another duet, this time with $100's Simone Fornow, and if you know anything about $100 or Fornow's voice, you know to expect nothing close to Bedhead as far as Quicksand is concerned. That said, it is a beautiful and sad tune, and I for one think that their styles and voices complement each other fabulously. It fits with the tone of the album. I like that, the album really does function as a whole, a cohesive and beautiful whole. Good job, Jim. Good job.
The guitars come in much harder on this record, but none of Jim's quirkiness is lost. The songwriting is still the same, like the title says, he's Still Jimmie. Used Parts sounds like it could be on The Onlys, its a perfect indication of that Jim we know and love: "Good luck building buildings for bored historians, or finding used parts for your Delorean". Come on, he references both Deloreans and Bricklins in the same song, who else do we know who could do that? He's still the same fella, giving us the same thing he's always given us. The subject matter may have changed, but his delivery has remained unchanged. This is a fantastic album, and if you haven't heard of Shotgun Jimmie yet, you should look into him! Check out his myspace. You won't be disappointed.
Shotgun Jimmie - Waist Deep In The Water
Shotgun Jimmie - I Asked Cupid
Released: 10 March 2009