Devil Take Me Down
Jimmy Zee is a blues guitarist living in Vancouver. For over 20 years he’s owned and operated the retail chain “Jimmy Zee’s,” which sells sports fan gear and guitars. Zee brings all his talent to Devil Take Me Down — his second album in five years.
Zee’s vocals are well suited for blues, and he maintains good voice control through the scat-like chorus in the track “Drinking All Night Long.”
The instruments are everything you would expect from blues, with pronounced guitar, harmonica and trumpets. In fact, there are a total of 27 musicians and singers that contributed to the album in some way.
The instruments are well played and Zee’s own guitar solos are solid. Each song of this album is enjoyable and nuanced by the various contributors.
The main problem with the album as a whole is it sometimes becomes monotonous. If you listen to the entire album at once, the songs blend into an indistinguishable mess that’s tiring to listen to.
Zee’s low vocals and the reuse of the same instruments playing similar patterns can be occasionally boring.
The few great songs that do stick out, “Roxy Roller,” “Santa Fe,” and “Parade Day” are poorly placed together, so they fail to break the monotony of the sometimes tedious album.
While Devil Take Me Down’s nomination for Best Blues Album of 2010 from the WCMA is well deserved, it should be listened to in bits and pieces rather than all at once. Overall it’s great background music for doing homework while your iPod is on shuffle.
— Tom Dodge