Jim Basnight – Introducing Jim Basnight (2012)

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For the past few decades, Jim Basnight has been a regular presence among the independent music community. The Seattle, Washington-based singer, tunesmith and guitarist has certainly covered a lot of ground, having fronted critically acclaimed acts such as the Moberlys, the Rockinghams, the Jim Basnight Thing and the Jim Basnight Band. A well-regarded solo career further adorns his long list of accomplishments.

The latest album from Jim, Introducing Jim Basnight (Precedent Records), centers heavily on the type of music he is chiefly recognized for, meaning roots rock with a power pop backbone. Edgy, slurred vocals, twanging with emotion, administer the catchy songs, while ringing guitars, crackling with electricity, infiltrate the atmosphere, topped by a fearless garage band mentality.

Sculpted of needle-sharp hooks and robust rhythms, “Burning In The Sand,” “Promises” and “Looking Through The Glass” ripple and romp with direction, where the folk slanted “Stay To The End” is performed at a slower and more meditative tempo. Another not to be neglected cut on Introducing Jim Basnight is “City Life,” which alternatively crunches and sparkles to a spinning showcase of sweltering grooves and funky harmonies.

Punchy roots rockers are definitely the main attraction here, but Jim does take a couple of surprising detours. For example, the bright and beautiful “Stars In Time” is a jazzy soul flavored ballad, and “Cameltoe” is a quirky dance hall styled number that sounds like a cheeky little kid crashing a Kinks session.

It’s not hard to hear why comparisons to Tom Petty always figure in Jim’s music. The inflections are uncannily similar, and both these guys pen melody-minted missives about real people and real life that come straight from the gut. The dual spirit of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Rolling Stones can also be sensed on this record.

Fads and images are fleeting, but heartfelt rock and roll, free of gimmicks and monetary motives will never die. Bubbling with honesty and songs that kick in on the first listen, Introducing Jim Basnight is the kind of album that commands widespread appeal.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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