Jimmy Burns

Night Time Again

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A second CD for Burns follows on the heels of his National Association of Independent Record Distributors Blues CD of 1998, Leaving Here Walking. It's as good as that award winner, with Burns presenting the complete package of commercially appealing, blues-faithful tunes, mostly self-written. His guitar playing is economical but not sparse, tinged with excitable phrases but never over the top, the perfect cool, burning balance. Burns also has a fine band, with veteran keyboardist Allen Batts, bassist Sho Komiya, and drummer Kenny Smith (from Rockin' Johnny's band) and second guitarist Michael Dotson, whose taste and supportive nature is the perfect foil for the leader. Of these 14 cuts, three are some pretty convincing soul-blues à la Robert Cray, the best being "Spend Some Time with Me," including an outstanding piano solo by Batts. The easy rocker kicking off the CD, "No Consideration," has Burns at his emotional edge, frustrated by his woman, a great modern blues song. "Shake for Me" and "You Say You Need Lovin'" are crackling, and fiery horns accentuate "Baby Don't Do It" and "Too Much Loving." A quieter heat is prevalent during the shuffle "Hard Road" and the 12-bar guitar instrumental workout "Don't Be Late." Burns changes up the program for the Major Lance hit "Monkey Time," and "1959 Revisited," a doo wop tribute with multi-part vocal harmonies and minimal guitar. This is a bluesman who has a style all his own, free of clichés and influences, with a controlled feeling for the blues that bubbles over when called upon. He could be the premier blues exponent of today, one who the public better be paying close attention to. This recording is highly recommended and, like the previous date, is a legitimate Blues CD of the Year candidate.

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