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My Name is Jimmie

by: Jimmie Van Zant

Album Artwork

Jimmie Van Zant may have taken a while to get the attention he deserves, but with the release of My Name is Jimmie, there’s no doubt he will get lots of buzz. It seems Jimmie is hitting on all cylinders. with great musicians, backing vocals, top flight production and especially perfect song selection. The idea to cover the Sopranos theme song “Woke Up This Morning” was a brilliant decision, but adding a VanZant penned third verse (“I gotta get this rebel back to Jacksonville...”) that actually borders on rap was sheer genius. My only complaint is the need Jimmie has for dropping the “GD” bomb here, and several other times on the album. I’d prefer the “G” rated version.

Speaking of covers, Van Zant turns in an excellent rendition of Tony Joe White’s “Poke Salad Annie,” enhanced by banjo and Florida born country soul. Jimmie’s “Redneck Revolution” is the new redneck anthem, and I swear you can hear a little Johnny and a little Ronnie in the man’s voice. Really.

“Backwoods Preacher Man” is an awesome song, laden with swampy Dobro and super soul background babe vocals. Very cool. Again, the spoken intro and it’s expletive was not necessary, and may alienate some.

Van Zant makes Styx’s  “Blue Collar Man” his own, and boy howdy does it rock. It was a song begging for a southern boy to sing it. There is a lot to love on this album, including the one minute nine seconds tune “Spit Cup.” Pure redneck poetry.

My favorite track is “Ray Ray’s Juke Joint” and it is downright awesome. It would be right at home on the same radio stations that play Jimmie’s cousin’s Johnny and Donnie. It is just plain killer. I like to play it loud. (“Three plays for a quarter on a  jukebox in the corner and it’s full of Johnny, Ronnie and Donnie.”) There’s even a lead guitar refrain of “Dixie” tossed in with the sound of breaking glass and more from those mighty, mighty background singers. Say you want more stars and bars? There’s also a great one minute version of “Dixie” done instrumental style, with banjos, electric guitars and strings that wraps the album up.

“Reason” is another balls to the wall Southern Rock song. A little Skynyrd, a little Montgomery Gentry. Smokin.’ Then again, so are “100 Proof,” and “Saving Grace,” a potential country hit with lyrics about mama and daddy laid over a bed of pedal steel.

Simply stated, this is one of the best Southern rock albums I have heard in quite a while. The real deal. Coming from a VanZant, imagine that. I believe Ronnie would have loved it. I know I do.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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tuckerhead says...

Jimmie rocks man. Great album, great review.

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