Singer, songwriter, and guitar virtuoso Jimmy Thackery has carved an enviable niche for himself in the world of electric blues. Known for his gritty, blue-collar approach and marathon live shows, Thackery was for many years part of the Nighthawks, one of the hardest-working blues bar bands in North America. Included here are tracks from 1992 through 2000 and special guests Duke Robillard, Lonnie Brooks, and Reba Russell.
Not a prolific composer, Thackery's strength lies in strong arrangements that make other people's material his own. He covers Stevie Ray Vaghan's "Rude Mood," and one suspects there will be comparisons made in this direction. His solos burn the motel down on Luther Johnson's "Lickin' Gravy," and he manages a more than credible job on Hendrix's "Red House." Of the two self-penned numbers, the title track is a convincing boogie driven by an ultra-cool, echoed, chicken-scratch guitar riff, while "Getting Tired of Waiting" offers a more traditional blues shuffle.
Rooted in the Blues and spanning out to include a variety of rock, tropical and blues styles, while using all the spare keys available to an accomplished guitarist, this music rocks, rolls and captures emotions. Jimmy Thackery has been writing and performing his original music for over 40 years, hitting the stages of large venues and getting down at your favorite neighborhood bars. Spare Keys is a showcase of Jimmy's styles, many of which he gained by playing with and learning from some of the famous original Bluesmen, such as Muddy Waters and Otis Rush. Jimmy leads you on an emotional journey through the jungle, around some heartache and into the floating clouds that you'll want to ride as long as possible…
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers released “As Live As it Gets”, featuring JP Soars, (slide and cigar box guitar hero) and the Hydraulic Horns. Recorded live on last fall’s Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, the CD contains songs by Muddy Waters, Johnny Guitar Watson and JB Lenoir along with a number of Thackery originals. Hard-charging blues with two stellar guitar players, bari and tenor sax and a powerful rhythm section.
The first summit meeting for these two journeymen roots-blues-rock guitarists is a rousing triumph. On paper, Tab Benoit's less aggressive New Orleans style wouldn't seem to mesh with Jimmy Thackery's boozy, tough, rough and tumble approach. But like Lennon and McCartney, each complements the other. Benoit lets his Delta and Texas-styled roots seep into the proceedings, tempering Thackery's more bombastic leads. Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble rhythm section and keyboardist Reese Wynans provide dexterous support, as does ace harp master Charlie Musselwhite. Most importantly, this isn't just a bunch of songs built around endless jams. The selections are mostly covers, but the wide range of writers involved — from Bob Dylan, the Stones, and Neil Young to obscurities from legends like Percy Mayfield and Eddie Jones — shows the scope of the guitarists' influences. Only on the Benoit-penned slow blues "Nice and Warm" — reprised from his solo debut and at almost eight minutes the album's longest track — do the guitar pyrotechnics overwhelm the song. But even here, the musicians are obviously inspired by each other and deliver dazzling solos, each more jaw-dropping than the last. Everything sizzles, yet a mid-album detour into a laid-back version of Neil Young's country-ish ballad "Unknown Legend" works surprisingly well, especially with Musselwhite's poignant harp solo. Jagger/Richards' "The Last Time" gets a rootsy rave-up treatment, as does Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," and the duo clicks into shuffle mode on Thackery's instrumental Freddie King tribute, "Freddy's Combo." For the most part, the over the top guitar shenanigans this partnership threatens thankfully never materialize, with both six-string benders providing short, succinct, yet scorching solos within the framework of the tunes. Lead vocals are shared, although Benoit is clearly the better singer, with Thackery's rasp getting by on sheer enthusiasm. A treat for fans of both artists as well as a stirring contemporary electric blues album by any yardstick, Whiskey Store successfully joins two gifted guitarists in a session that proves greater than the sum of its very talented parts.
Jimmy Thackery created a distinctively raw, powerful guitar style and established a reputation as a spectacular soloist who is widely considered to be one of the finest guitar players of his generation. These newly re-mastered recordings chosen from three long out of print albums dating from 1992 to 1998 represent one of the most creative periods of his illustrious career…
Jimmy and the Drivers excellent show has been captured live by famed music producer Peter Jay live in Detroit November 2009. This is a great sounding live show by Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers. Alot of instrumentals with great guitar solos. One of the best live recordings in the Drivers catelog.