Kirkpatrick. For those into Melodic Rock and AOR and who live in the UK and Europe, this will be no surprise, but it might be in the US.
Jim is a member of FM, that much-loved band who exploded on the scene in 1986 with the perky and peerless ‘Indiscreet’, toughened up their AOR sound for follow up ‘Tough It Out’ and returned at the wonderful and much-missed Firefest to play live for the first time in 12 years.
Credit; Rock ‘N’ Load
That was 2007 and since then the band have produced wonderful albums time after time, 8 of them, toured all over the place and showcased a bluesy, swaggering Rock sound that may have something to do with their guitarist.Jim Kirkpatrick is that man, an FM member since 2007 and a huge, but unassuming, talent.
Credit; Sonic Perspectives
His solo output has an easy, occasihard driving, frequently swaggering, feel and this album is even better than the last, ‘Ballad Of A Prodigal Son’ and that was blooming great.
It’s called Dead Man Walking and the cover is a parched desert with a tatty sign, yet it still manages to show deep and vibrant oranges and blues. And it’s just great too.
Jim explained the album’s genesis to Entertainment Focus;
‘Dead Man Walking’ is the culmination of the last couple of years’ hard work since ‘Ballad of a Prodigal Son’,” explains Jim, “I’ve been pretty much constantly on the road so this album took a little bit longer to finish than I’d hoped for but I’m really happy with the results. I think some of my strongest tracks ever are on this album. I’ve incorporated some country, Americana and gospel influences in with the usual blend of rock and blues.’
It begins with a touch of the Delta Blues, harmonies and handicaps, moves to the acoustic picking and fiddle of the title track which then opens out with a cowbell augmentation and allows Jim to favour us with a rather unbridled solo. As Maximum Volume tells us;
”The title track is superb (in fact, let’s save time and assume all of them are?). There’s a crunch, a groove, a real soul.’
But there’s Outlaw Country too for ‘Union Train’, which can’t keep its Heavy Rock predilections inside so jaunts around with an almost ZZ Top funkiness playing ‘Heavens Above’.
He can sass it up, cock that ear to ‘Road Of Bones’ which struts on too tight strides and cuban heels, plus he has a stunning Radio Rock pleaser in simple ‘Life On The Run’.
Dead Man Walking?
If it is, this is less of a trudge and more of a cavort. Jim Kirkpatrick doesn’t necessarily need this, his day job works well for him, so this is extra.
That ease works so well here, there’s a confidence but never an arrogance, songs which stand the test of repeated listens and keep coming back tickle your pleasure centres.
And who doesn’t want them tickled?