Both a retrospective of previously unrecorded songs and new material, this double album from the Devon-based singer-songwriter, formerly half of The Hat Band, totals a massive 22 songs about love, break ups and growing older, spanning forty years of songwriting from the formative moody circling bluesy acoustic guitar ‘Moon Over Cairo’ from 1980 to the piano ballad title track from last year, inspired by a review of Dylan’s Rough And Rowdy Ways and looking at creativity as part of the ageing process and the gift of experience over the exuberance of youth as he sings “don’t wish your life away/Hold it tight within your hand/Gather in the years/Until you understand”.
I can’t date the other tracks or, other than to say Clare Lees plays flute, tell you who (or if) other contributors may be and I don’t intend to give a blow by blow account, but suffice to say it offers a rich diversity of styles, from the driving blues groove of ‘Get Away’ to the piano-accompanied balladry of ‘You’ll See It In Here Eyes’ with its hints of McCartney influences by way of the Canned Heat-like flute on the summery ‘Atlantic Highway’, the tender fingerpicked ‘Hold Me Close’ and the strings-enrobed ‘Sweet Lies’.
I’d particularly highlight the lilting end of relationship sway of ‘Pieces Of You’ and the soulful, strings and organ-backed ‘I Never Thought’ with its echoes of both Sam Cooke and Chicken Shack’s ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, but there’s plenty here to offer something to please everyone.
Artist’s website: www.jimmyleemorris.bandcamp.com
‘You’ll See It In Her Eyes’ – official video:
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