Jimmy Thackery Rides His Own Track on New Telarc Recording
After more than thirty years, guitarist Jimmy Thackery has learned that the smartest career track is the one that tunes out all the distracting noises and follows the sound of his own muse. Although still a gritty hard-rocking blues guitarist when the occasion demands, he has spent recent years exploring some of the more nuanced corners of the American roots music spectrum.
Inside Tracks, the new release from Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, is due in stores on October 14, 2008. The album is a continuation of the creative shift that began in 2007 with his previous Telarc recording, Solid Ice. Like its predecessor, Inside Tracks leads to a place where country, R&B and even a touch of surf music all fit seamlessly with Thackery’s trademark guitar blues.
While some of this may be uncharted water for both Thackery and his fans, Inside Tracks is another step in his realignment of artistic priorities. The focus now is a little more on substance and a little less on flash.
“It’s about the writing now,” Thackery explains. “It’s not just about the hot dawg guitar player. For a long time, that was the thing that everyone assumed would be the selling point. Everybody likes a revved-up blues guitar player, but how many records can you make like that? I’ve done forty or something. I lost count back in the ‘90s of the exact number. I think I’ve proved that I can do that, so I figured it was time to do some real writing, regardless of whether it was consistent with people’s expectations. Fortunately, Telarc has taken a very hands off approach and given me room to do just that.”
For Jimmy Thackery, there’s much more to the blues than the standard 12-bar shuffle punctuated by a flashy guitar solo. In the end, it’s much more about the heart and soul and less about formulas and preconceived notions.
“A lot of people who are making blues records are just trying to make another T-Bone Walker record or another George Thorogood record,” he says. “Those are a couple of fine guitar players and songwriters, but I’ve pretty much done that, many times over. I’m at a point where I’m going to record the kind of music that I want to play and I want to listen to. If you’re writing stuff to please yourself, it’s going to translate to the people you’re trying to reach.”
Inside Tracks is Thackery’s chosen mode of transportation on the journey of self-discovery. Hop on the rails and take the ride with him.