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. Bowskills 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 guitarists 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 theres a clear Led Zeppelin pedigree to the tune, Bowskills 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 cant play reggae), but the songs are strong, and Bowskill and co-producer Peter Prilesnik know how this music should sound.
Al Crosss drums have the proper amount of slam here, and Wayne Deadders 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.
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