Thackery said I will hope to have left
a body of work that some may remember for
10 minutes. ... I just wish my dogs would
take me seriously.
Guitarist Jimmy Thackery
has been a driving force in blues for over 45
years, first as a Nighthawk, then as an Assassin.
But for the last quarter century, Thackery has
fronted the Drivers, a band named after a function
hes never performed in a vehicle.
not sure how I managed to miss that all important
window of the coming of age as it pertains
to the act of driving a car, Thackery
said by email last week from his Belize residence.
some point, I became aware that I was over
40 years old with no drivers license
and thought it was a better idea to forget
about it altogether than to attempt to learn.
At 65, Im still thinking along those
took Drivers Ed in school and had every
intention of clearing that hurdle, but then
got serious about playing in a band at about
the same time. Someones Mom was always
available to load up the family station wagon
with band gear and transport the fledgling
band to a gig. He somehow avoided that chore
through his 14-year stint with the Hawks
and his five years with the Assassins.
I had gone off on my own, a member of the
new group was chosen by default and distance
to pick me up and drop me off after gigs or
rehearsals, much to his chagrin, Thackery
said. He suggested that I call my new
endeavor The Drivers.
Drivers were initially a trio, but saxophonist
Jimmy Carpenter joined the group in 1999,
adding a new dimension to the sound.
been a sparse trio since the Assassins, which
was a band of excess. He went completely the
other way, Carpenter said, who worked
with Thackery until 2014 as tour manager and
saxophonist, recording on Sinner Street,
the Eddie Hinton tribute We Got It,
True Stories and Whiskey
covers a lot of ground, Carpenter said
in an 2001 interview when he was still with
the band, postulating that the addition of
the sax takes some of the pressure off Thackery.
He can play rhythm, which he likes.
I kinda play the straight man to him, sorta
set him up.
remembers Carpenter fondly.
and I had some very good times playing some
pretty good stuff, he said. Ive
played with some very good saxophone players
along the way, and he is one of the best.
after Carpenter departed, Thackery recorded
2005s Healin Ground
in Nashville with producer/guitarist/singer
Gary Nicholson. It was a difficult endeavor,
with the duo committing to writing, recording
and mixing the project in two weeks with a
different co-writer for each session. Thackery
had grown accustomed to having the sax round
out the sound, but Nicholson convinced him
that although they both loved what the sax
brought to the band, it also could date the
material the two were trying to come up with.
really launched me back into the trio format
with that record, and it was soon afterwards
that I came to the realization that the trio
had always been what I fall back into,
Thackery said. There is something about
that power of three thing that
just fits better. ~ [READ
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Story by Phil Reser (Enjoy
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Thackery
Blues singer, guitarist and songwriter Jimmy Thackery
combines elements of Nashville twang, swing, surf, hard
rock and frequent excursions into the world of jazz
and still comes up with a sound that is distinctly the
think, like any blues musician, I knew the moment it
hit me over the head like a baseball bat. I was at the
playground at school fooling with a transistor radio
when Slim Harpo came on with a crossover hit called
Scratch My Back. That was the moment.
also remember the first Rolling Stones album was all
blues covers. I thought they were Stones songs but as
I looked at the credits, I saw names like Ella Bates
and McKinley Morganfield. I went on a search for records
by these guys, but I couldnt find anything until
someone told me Daniels and Morganfield were Bo Diddley
and Muddy Waters. So I found their records and it was
a teenager growing up in Washington, D.C., Thackery
saw Buddy Guy play in a small church, and the gig had
a huge effect on him, though not as big as that of seeing
Jimi Hendrixs first official show in the United
cites Chicago axe master Otis Rush as a primary influence.
Moreover, along the way, he learned quite a bit from
playing on stage alongside such blues legends as Muddy
Waters, James Cotton and Luther Guitar Junior
I ever listened to were influences in one way or the
other. Even if it was just figuring out what not to
do. Thats the way I think you have to approach
it, you have to take what you can from everybodys
performance, whether it be a positive or a negative.
spent 14 years touring the United States, Europe, Canada
and Japan with the Nighthawks, a legendary blues and
roots rock ensemble. He was the heart, soul and adrenaline
of the Nighthawks sound, having created a distinctively
raw, powerful guitar style and establishing a reputation
as a dynamic soloist.
leaving the Nighthawks in 1986, he formed Jimmy Thackery
& the Assassins, which toured and recorded three
albums before disbanding in 1991. The Assassins at one
time included six horns and up to 13 members, including
backup singers. Thackery says he reached a point where
the band was too large to handle. The logistics
of trying to travel were too difficult, and it was hard
to keep harmony.
then formed the trio Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers,
which continues to play blues festivals and clubs and
record his original songs, a mainstay of the current
bands have always played hot-rod stuff, up-tempo blues,
not the slow down, cry-in-your-beer music. Even the
old-time blues musicians, when they played at a roadhouse
or wherever they congregated on a Saturday night after
slavery, went crazy. They played songs about losing
their wives or girlfriends or losing all their money
and their house. The beat was so infectious. These guys
drew down, so it was a whole layer getting those demons
out, you know. So were trying to do the same thing.
Were up there trying to help people forget whatever
happened during the week.
has released 15 albums on the Blind Pig and Telarc labels.
Eight of his releases reached the top 15 on Billboards
Blues charts. After Telarc, Jimmy became independent
and started his own label, White River Records, which
has released five titles, including his most recent
album, Spare Keys, an all-original album
with six instrumentals and six tunes with vocals. The
instrumentals highlight Thackerys vast styles,
influenced by his interest in all varieties of music,
from classical to slack-key to country to rock and tropical
find that by listening to classical music or old jazz,
like Django Reinhardt, some slack-key music by Ledward
Kaapana or something like that, that kind of stuff,
that melodic thread, sparks my creative juices more
than listening to John Lee Hooker or even Muddy Waters
anymore. Ive spent almost a lifetime listening
to that stuff, trying to learn how to play it. Now Im
trying to figure out how to inject melody into it.
Thackery and the Drivers with Gina Sicilia
Saturday, July 22, World Records Showcase Theater in
Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers ::
Posted: Sep 08, 2016 Latest Blues News, Music
has made his career as a musician for over 40 years,
traveling the globe from big festivals to everyones
favorite neighborhood bars. A true professional musician,
Jimmy gives his audience his best each and every performance,
respecting and appreciating his fans along the way.
His music reaches peoples lives in personal
and profound ways, as witnessed by the touching messages
he receives during and after each tour.
Keys is an all-original album, with six instrumentals
and six tunes with vocals. These songs use all the
keys available on guitar, running the gamut from soulful
blues in Blues All Night, to heart-wrenching
blues in I Even Lost the Blues and You
Cant Come Back. His rock roots shine in
Puttin the Word Out and Fightin
in the Jungle, which also features howler monkeys
recorded at the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize.
instrumentals highlight Thackerys vast styles,
influenced by his interest in all varieties of music
from classical to slack-key to country to rock and
tropical rock. Candy Apple Red is an upbeat
melody repeated from the Strat to baritone guitar,
and slowing down a bit, Same Page On Demand
will wow you with some powerful, minor chords. For
one that melts your worries away, descend into the
dreamy Bella Noche, guaranteed to soothe
your soul on a continuous basis.
Barbers Guitar has an interesting story,
for those of you who like to know where some inspiration
for writing is found. Jimmy saw an old guitar propped
in a corner of his regular barber shop, and asked
the barber if he would like him to fix it up for him.
Of course, the answer was an enthusiastic yes,
so it was gifted with fresh strings, a new homemade
nut, a straightened neck and tuned. When the time
came for a Thackery test run, an unfamiliar song spontaneously
took over his hands, and The Barbers Guitar
was born. Jimmy believes every instrument has a song
inside, waiting to shine, and somehow this one was
a thankful return for being cared for and pampered!
Drivers on this CD are Rick Knapp on bass and Chris
Reddan and George Sheppard splitting the drum tracks.
Chris came along on tour when George had emergency
shoulder surgery in 2015, so he sat in the drum chair
for the first recording session, and George finished
out upon his return. The recording, mixing and mastering
took place at Tonys Treasures in Cadiz, OH.
you dont have a set of spare keys hidden away
somewhere, this is your important safety tip reminder.
The album is available on disc or by download at CD
Baby, iTunes, Amazon or at jimmythackery.com.
Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers New CD Release ~
Release date: Sept 7th, but pre-orders can be made at
CD Baby starting Aug 17th
Available at CD Baby on August 17, 2016 ~
Thackery & The Drivers perform live in South Florida,
with special guest JP Soars, on Edition 235 of Blues
Radio International, with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and
up for the next run folks!
is up first with a return to the fabulous BEACHLAND
BALLROOM. It's been a while since we've been there,
so spread the word. Rumor has it that my old pal,
Tom Shaper and his band, are doing a set in front,
and I'd bet there will be a little jamming later if
that's the deal.
Then, we motor over to THE MOTOR CITY and make a stop
at CALLAHAN'S in Auburn Hills. Ever since recording
our live CD there, we have had a joyful anticipation
of playing Cally's .Great sound and not a bad seat
in the house!
PITTSBURGH next folks. MOONDOGS is still a favorite
stop, and we always look forward to the fine food
at the STARLIGHT RESTAURANT, which has the World's
biggest and bestest perogies anywhere!
Planning a few days at our long time favorite studio,
TONY's TREASURES in eastern Ohio. We will hopefully
finish a new CD project we started last year and will
be sure to let everyone on the newsletter list know
the minute the recording is available.
quick touchdown in WASHINGTON DC at GYPSY SALLY'S
where Cathy Ponton King will open the show with Hammond
B3 player extraordinaire, Sam Palladino and another
old friend on bass--Jan Zukowski will be there, and
we haven't crossed paths in .forever! Should
be a gas! DURHAM,NORTH CAROLINA at THE BLUE NOTE will
be next up and then, on to points south.
Now, folks . this next one is very special to
me personally. After nearly forty years, end of an
era is finally at hand. Since 1973, THE DOUBLE DOOR
INN in CHARLOTTE has been home to the greatest blues
and rock n' roll acts to ever hit a lick. Everyone
has played there. Even Clapton!I started there as
a young NIGHTHAWK in 1976 or '77! My dear friend Nick,
benevolent owner and close personal pal, has come
to the end of his road there, and though he probably
would have stayed, the City of Charlotte had other
ideas. The whole area will be redeveloped soon, and
my oldest musical "home" will be closed
for good. I'm sure all the musicians and fans have
the same bittersweet feeling about this turn of events,
but all great things come to an end, and so we bid
a fond farewell to the old place. Sadly, that said...this
will be my last show at THE DOUBLE DOOR. I'm really
hoping everyone that's ever even seen a show there
over the decades will come out to say "Thanks"
to Nick and the whole crew and enjoy one last Drivers
show at the famous DOUBLE DOOR INN! The club will
be doing live music up till the very end of 2016,
so come anytime, but please come out for our last
one, folks .it will mean a lot!
will pull ourselves together then, and head towards
the famous BRADFORDVILLE BLUES CLUB in the woods outside
of TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA. There is something about
that place. Everyone says the same thing! It just
rocks like crazy! Maybe because it's so secluded or,
maybe it is the ghosts of blues men past, but it has
a vibe that just can't be beat. Oh! And don't forget
the fried catfish! Best in the state.
Over east to Old Town SANFORD, FLORIDA, and THE ALLEY.
Let's pack this one, folks, it has the right mojo
workin'! Next up is
STUART, FLORIDA, and a place lots of folks have started
playing and is really doing well for them called,
TERRA FERMATA. Rick's hometown gig!
down 95 to BOCA RATON to pair up with J.P. SOARS and
his RED HOTS at THE FUNKY BISCUIT. Another stellar
room with great sound and wonderful Gulf Style eats!
Come early and grab a seat and stay for the last set
jam! This will kill! I promise.
LARGO, FLORIDA, and the BAYSIDE GRILLE is a new territory
for us, so we hope you all migrate south with us and
give them a good showing. And, finally, the matinee
at our favorite Sunday gig anywhere, EARLS HIDEAWAY
in SEBASTIAN BEACH, FLORIDA. This crowd gets bigger
and more into the music every time, and we always
throw down extra hard. Since it will be THE END OF
THE TOUR PARTY, it will be extra throw down deluxe!
to ask your friends to sign up for this newsletter
and forward it on at the easy share button. When the
new CD is available, you'll get first shot at it.
REMEMBER THE DOUBLE DOOR! And we'll see you at your
Safe driving is a must!
Jimmy, George and Rick
Oct 15, 2015
In The Mail - From Bill Matthews of the National Forest
Hey Jimmy ... Attached is a couple pictures of a prehistoric
archaeological site I found today at 9,700 feet in
the Cloud Peak Wilderness. I named the site Smokin
Joe Kubek in honor of him. Once I write up the site
report, this site will be added to the Smithsonian
database and will remain on the Archaeological records
forever. All the orange flags are artifacts and, as
you can see, it is in a beautiful location. Its
the least I can do.
12, 2015 - RIP JOE KUBEK
In loving memory of a great Bluesman and the best pal ever.
In Peace, Brother Joe
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The new CD entitled, WIDE OPEN
is now available for purchase!
copies are available at CD
Baby and digital downloads are on iTunes,
Amazon, and all your favorite delivery outlets. We've
worked diligently on this new music, to write, arrange,
record, produce, package and deliver to you folks,
our friends and family.
began on this project in 2012 at Tony's Treasures
in Cadiz, Ohio, our favorite studio to work in these
days. Two of the tracks, Hard Luck Man and Someone
Who's Crying Tonight were loaded onto iTunes for download
only, while the other tracks from that session remained
in the giant vault at Tony's Treasures Studios. These
two tunes have had a remix to blend with the new songs
a bit more.
proved to be a very busy year for me, personally,
as we relocated far from Busch, Arkansas, where Ms.Sally
and I had lived for ten years.
I spent the winter months in an exotic new setting
in my little demo recording studio, writing, reworking
and polishing material for the new session. All of
the songs were mixed and then e-mailed to the band
to scrutinize and learn. It was April of this year
when things became conducive to finishing up the project
and to get the real studio versions recorded. As usual,
Mark and Cody had everything at the studio tweaked
and ready to rock.
set up George's drums in the" big room"
to get an open room sound for him. I used a little
different set up this time, utilizing some rooms newly
constructed upstairs as isolation booths for guitar.
Working in a stereo format, the guitar signals were
separated and fed back to the control room where I
was free to use the same monitor speakers as the engineer
and not have to rely on headphones. I've always found
them to be a bit cumbersome, and they don't give me
the sound reproduction that the studio monitors do.
The session went by quickly (always a positive sign
that the creative "juices" are flowing),
and we mixed everything while we were still in Ohio.
are all very proud of this CD and hope you get as
much joy out of listening to it as we had creating
it. It is my first CD that all the songs are original,
with no cover tunes. Many emotions were involved in
these 12 songs, so I hope you enjoy the journey and
the visions I've expressed. We hope you'll order yours
today, and let us know what you think about it! When
it arrives, throw it in and let 'er rip!
sure to check the upcoming dates on the tour schedule.
We will have this new disc for sale at all personal
appearances, available for signatures by all the fellers.
Sign up here for the newsletter so you'll know when
we are coming close by for a live show. Bring your
friends---we need the gas money!
if any of you good folks out there are fans of the TV series
on FX Network called JUSTIFIED,
starring Timothy Oliphant, you might have heard our tune,
TAKE MY BLUES playing during
a scene in the season premiere episode.
We were tickled that it was chosen for the broadcast and hope
to, perhaps, get played in another episode later in the season.
There is a snippet of the song on the shows website which
you can check out along with a link back to this page! Very
Meanwhile, the agents are putting together another extensive
US tour that will be posted here shortly.
As always,this site is THE place for available CDs and cool
T-shirts and other stuff. Don't forget the two digital downloads
available here (see below) - as we'll as iTunes and CD BABY!
- Let us know what you think! Send us an Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Order your CDs, T's and downloads today! And, by all means,
keep an eye out for live appearances in your town or nearby.
We need your support, kids! We luv ya!
~ Jimmy, Bump, and Bam-Bam ~
Yes,time for another Drivers road trip and cartoon adventure!
Latest addition to the website is an updated schedule
on our "SHOWS
PAGE" that should cover October and November.
AND! .... an added bonus! Here, just below, is a link
to download our two brand new songs:
WHO'S CRYING is an old style soul ballad that
laments the sad unseen of society while HARD LUCK
MAN is a big ol' power trio rocker!
Each tune is available for a buck from iTunes or CD
The link here will take you to the CD Baby download
site directly. Just click on SINGLE DOWNLOADS or the
link provided here.
So ... We've loaded up the truck and we are ready
to rock! Hope to see you all at the shows and, remember,
have CDs for sale at the gigs or you can order
directly from here!
And a special thanks to Mark Puskarich and Cody at
Tony's Treasures Studio for the great job of recording!
THACKERY THE DRIVERS featuring JP SOARS AND THE HYDRAULIC
AS LIVE AS IT GETS - White River BLUES
Many renowned acts have graced the stages of the Legendary
Rhythm & Blues Cruises over the years, performing
sets as legendary as the cruise name itself. This
is one of them. Recorded on the floating blues lounge
atop Pacific swells in October of 2011, this matchup
consisting of Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers and JP
Soars & the Hydraulic Horns is a 2-CD set of blazing
guitar and saxophone fronted blues. Thackery, the
veteran D. C. blues icon, exchanges scorching licks
with JP Soars in a fine display of camaraderie and
For the unaware, Soars, along with his band The Red
Hots, won first place in the International Blues Challenge
in Memphis in 2009. Known for proficiency in multiple
genres, Soars also won the distinguished Albert King
Award for most promising guitarist. So the addition
of JP Soars to the Jimmy Thackery trio is exciting
enough. Add to the mix the tenor sax of Joe McGlohon
and the baritone of Jim Spake and you've got a fully
charged blues event.
A show highlight is Thackery's slow blues "Blind
Man in the Night," originally from his Feel The
Heat album. The intense number features searing guitar
notes amid Thackery's throaty emotional vocal performance.
Thackery's own "Kickin' Chicken" brings
the first CD to a rollicking jump blues instrumental
close. The focus is on the whole band in this one.
There's a few traditional titles performed in a hard
driving blues style. Dual sax and a familiar riff
begin a cover of Guitar Slim's "A Letter To My
Girlfriend." The New Orleans swag is augmented
by nifty six-string and horn solo exchanges. An exhilarating
sax solo begins a 16-minute slow blues cover of Muddy
Waters' "Gypsy Woman." A familiar Muddy
Waters' riff rocks the boat behind Thackery's gritty
voice in Johnny Guitar Watson's "Gangster Of
Love." The whole band kicks ass in a rollicking
version of H. E. Owens' "The Hustle (Is On)."
J. B. Lenoir's "I've Been Down So Long"
ends the show with twenty minutes of slow blues improv,
perfect for mellowing out on the Pacific.
Jam band blues is what many of the tracks are about,
as ten-minute songs are the average. Two are close
to twenty minutes in length, giving the first CD five
songs and the second four. The songs fly off in improvisational
blues heaven, in which each performer solos without
restraint alongside The Drivers' rhythm section of
bassist Mark "Bumpy Rhodes" Bumgarner and
drummer George "Bam Bam" Sheppard. The sound
is rich and full, but it never gets excessive. The
guitars and horns execute a proper musical balance,
forefront and in the background, and they don't get
in each others' way. Thackery mentions in the CD liner
notes that nothing was added in the studio afterward.
What's heard is what was played onstage. The satisfying
music heard on this solid live album is a good display
of the pleasurable experience people get from these
blues cruises. This is what it's all about.
~ Brian D. Holland ~
411 - The Home For Blues News - Featured article "JP
Sours: Blues-Metal Mania"
new sponsor: Strobel Travel Guitars! AWESOME!