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Only label needed is 'good music'

Reviewed May 2005

Healin' Ground
Healin' Ground
By Jimmy Thackery

Telarc Records: 2005

To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.

If there is a line that separates rock from blues, Jimmy Thackery jumps back and forth so often it's like he's playing double Dutch.

Actually, it's hard to figure why an artist such as Thackery is placed in the blues bins at music stores, while Stevie Ray Vaughan is found sitting between Van Halen and the Velvet Underground in the rock section. It's obvious from Thackery's latest collection that he pays little attention to such labels. He's just interested in making good music, whatever the style.

This is especially clear on the final two selections of his latest release, where Thackery offers up an instrumental surf-revival take on Henry Mancini's "A Shot in the Dark," then goes for a straight blues reading of Muddy Waters' "Can't Lose What You Never Had."

In fact, it takes Thackery a little while before he even gets around to the blues. The album opener, "Let the Guitar Do the Work," has a country-rock, rockabilly feel and is followed by an instrumental, "Fender Bender," that wouldn't be out of place on Dick Dale's set list.

Midway through the album, Thackery gets down to some serious blues with "Weaker Than You Know," then lightens things up on the "Upside of Lonely," a humorous look at the benefits of being a single guy.

Once again, Thackery proves he's a skilled guitarist and a more than capable singer.

"Healin' Ground" doesn't fit comfortably into any one genre, but who cares? It's a fun listen.

Review by Don Weiner. Don is a writer and editor based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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