Jim Kirkpatrick Ballad Of A Prodigal Son album review
Jim Kirkpatrick will be releasing his new solo album on September 4th and he has called in a few favours with song writing or playing contributions from the following friends.
John 'Rhino' Edwards (Status Quo), Steve Overland (FM), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake) Sarah Miller (Chris Bevington Org), Jem Davis (FM), Neil 'Kegsy'McCallum (Chris Bevington Org), David Levy (Rory Gallagher) Richard Newman (Paul Rodgers), Scott Ralph (Chris Bevington Org), Didge Digital (FM), Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Paul Westwell (SinnerBoy) and bassists Chris Bevington and Chris Cliff.
Jim is better known as the lead guitarist in the mighty FM since their reformation now over a decade ago where his drive and enthusiasm and sharp fiery guitar soloing live and in the studio has taken the band to new heights.
Finally in Jim's words his new solo album is about to be released and it has been worth the wait with 12 tracks of superb blues vocals and guitar playing showing off Jim's many talents to wonderful effect.
The title track is up first with it's driving drum rhythm and Jim's riff cutting in and out and his vocal is warm and all encompassing with a big chorus. We know how good his soloing is and he doesn't disappoint with more freedom to expand his flavours.
No Such Thing As A Sure Thing starts swampy with harmonica and acoustic guitar before a big rolling guitar riff kicks in with lots of slide guitar add libs and a great chorus where his voice excels. My 18 year old son came in and heard this and nodded approvingly and the mid song break sees Jim soloing over the rolling riff. Wonderful stuff.
Ain't Going Down Alone really shows off Jim's voice with a slower pace and more guitar add libs in the chorus and a big chorus. I am sure people will hear his vocal on this and think wow where has he been hiding. It is that good. The guitar solo fits the song so well too. Perfect.
Blue Heron Boulevard is a bright and breezy instrumental with Jim showing off his slide skills.
Be Hard With It has a big guitar riff that dips in and out with a wah guitar solo within the first 20 seconds and a harder edge to Jim's vocal in the chorus and the solo is fuzzed up and shows another dimension to Jim's playing that you would not see in FM.
Skin And Bone is blues pure and simple with Jim's guitar add libs prominent and a harder edge guitar riff mid song that meshes with the add libs before he unleashes a solo of pure quality and with style and finesse too.
Always On The Road sees a co write with Bernie Marsden and with added horns the driving number is built on a muscular guitar riff and fantastic chorus showing no weariness from being always on the road.A lengthy guitar solo gives him time to breathe with out constraint. 61 & 49 starts on a porch in the deep south with slide guitar and harmonica and superb backing vocals from Sarah Miller adding a real depth too.This song shows that their is no end to his talent and whatever style of blues he plays it is top notch quality.
Talk To Me is a slow soulful ballad showing off his vocal range and his bluesy add libbing lets his guitar talk so meaningfully with picked and held notes abundant.
Gravy Train is a Status Quo number written by John 'Rhino' Edwards and the much missed Rick Parfitt all fast paced and riff heavy with Jim's vocal has a harder edge to it and will be a blast in the live setting.
Brave New World takes it down a notch and at 7 and a half minutes Jim can open the song up and take it to wherever he wants.Soulful singing and playing and the longest guitar solo on the cd showcases all of his styles from fast paced to picked notes and no time frame just letting Jim do what he does best.Entertain.
All You Need (Is All You Have) ends the cd in style with a wonderful ballad with his voice majestic and keys from ex FM's Didge Digital.It takes nearly 4 minutes for the guitar solo to kick in and it is a thing of beauty with picked notes leading into a fast fingered passage and leaves you open mouthed.
Ballad Of A Prodigal Son may have been a decade in the making but now hear it is worth it's weight in gold.
Beautifully crafted lovingly put together and a joy to listen to too. Let us hope it isn't another 12 years for the next one.
Jim Kirkpatrick ’Ballad Of A Prodigal Son’ is released on US One Records on September 4th.Available on CD, all digital platforms and vinyl (via www.jimkirkpatrick.com).