August 2008

Jimmy Bowskill - Jimmy Bowskill
Jimmy Bowskill Records JB2007
Format: CD
Released: 2007

by Joseph Taylor

Musical Performance ***1/2
Recording Quality ****
Overall Enjoyment ****

Canadian guitarist Jimmy Bowskill is not yet 18, but he has a mature guitar style based squarely on the examples set by British blues-rock guitarists of the late '60s and early '70s. As if to underline that fact, on his new disc the young guitar slinger does a credible version of the guitar rave-up "Rattle Snake Shake," composed by Peter Green of the original Fleetwood Mac. Bowskill’s immersion in the power-trio aesthetic is so complete that this CD even includes a lengthy drum solo. When was the last time you heard one of those?

Jimmy Bowskill is the guitarist’s third disc, and he shows real skill as a songwriter. "Drifting Haze" features some shimmering, ethereal guitar lines and a processed vocal that gives the track an otherworldly quality. While there’s a clear Led Zeppelin pedigree to the tune, Bowskill’s approach is sufficiently unique to make it sound new. "Diamond Ring" has a throbbing synth line (uncredited) and a monster riff that could have been lifted from ZZ Top. Make no mistake, Bowskill walks well-trod ground, and sometimes he stumbles (on the evidence of "Black Sea Star," he can’t play reggae), but the songs are strong, and Bowskill and co-producer Peter Prilesnik know how this music should sound.

Al Cross’s drums have the proper amount of slam here, and Wayne Deadder’s bass (excellent and understated throughout) has plenty of presence, but it could use a bit more definition. Otherwise, the sound on Jimmy Bowskill is admirably clean and resonant. Bowskill still has a bit of boyishness in his voice, but he has a lot of good ideas and bears watching.