Jimmy Herring: New Moon


New Moon


Jimmy Herring (guitar)


Lifeboat (Abstract Logix ABLX 013)

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Jimmy Herring (guitar),

Matt Slocum (keyboards), Derek Trucks (slide guitar), Oteil Burbridge (bass), Jeff Sipe (drums)


Composed by Jimmy Herring


Recorded: Atlanta, Woodstock and Norcross, GA, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Guitarist Jimmy Herring has developed a reputation for string shredding with such bands as Aquarium Rescue Unit and Widespread Panic. He has played with the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh, and in the jazz band that honored the Dead, Jazz is Dead. According to a recent interview, it appears Herring isn't all that comfortable being known mainly as a shredder. He is concerned some of his more diehard fans may be expecting such guitar fireworks from his first solo outing Lifeboat. Unless his fans are a slew of tasteless zombies, he shouldn't be worried. Lifeboat is a collection of jazz-oriented pieces that stress melodious grooves, developed themes and group cohesion. There surely is some killing guitar here, but it is not the be all and end all. "New Moon" is just one example.

Guest guitarist Derek Trucks introduces the slowly paced song on slide guitar. He has an interest in Indian music, and manages to incorporate that influence in a very bluesy way. Though using slide guitar is helpful, this is just not a simple thing to do. Herring joins Trucks to state the main theme. It is quite catchy in a Southern blues jazzy way. It devolves into a lengthy Trucks carnatic exposition. He is answered by a soulful Herring. The rhythm section of Burbridge and Sipe is perfectly restrained. Pianist Matt Slocum offers chord shadings. These guys are real tight. No fast guitar shredding here. Instead we have an evolved interaction. This is really good music. If some of Herring's fans don't get it, we'll find him some new ones.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky


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