Preview Put It Together by Jim Keaveny.
Put It Together by Jim Keaveny
Jim Keaveny’s Put It Together is an engaging album of considerable variety and charm. Routine research threw up details that would make him the ideal musician to pull up a bar stool with. He bicycled across the south of the USA to fund his music. When not pedalling he has had jobs as a dishwasher, cook, fire fighter, brewer and fisherman. He is now living off the grid after building a house, in west Texas. You get the impression that he follows his own arrow (to quote another popular female Texan Country star) and this album floats between a number of genres but is always interesting and worth your time.
However on several tracks, he does sound like Bob Dylan. I thought this recreation of 1960’s Dylan with the vocal style and delivery, harmonica and organ was super and he carries it off well with no affectation. As you might imagine then going anywhere near an icon draws comparison and it is likely to be a weight for him to carry.
"Blue Eyes" is his classic Zimmerman song – a delightful melody in a slow Rock style with backing vocals - and this love song reflects that her blue eyes are something he sees every time he shuts his eyes. I think Bob mentioned blue eyes a few times during his career!
What Keaveny definitely does have, that His Holiness wouldn’t have incorporated, is that Tex Mex trumpet accompaniment that raises the sentiment, gets your hips swaying and wondering if it is too early for a drink yet. Such a track is "Is It You" redolent with mariachi horns and accordion that fairly swings. The album highlight is "Blown Away" where he tells of the end of a love affair and his slow recovery. Accordion and horns appear again and I have visions of him appearing in a ‘Breaking Bad’ landscape in front of a troupe of musicians in sombreros whilst clutching his acoustic out front singing this lament for his love.
If that is one style then we have Punk and Country with "Check It Out." The track fairly races along as you two-step across the room whilst a grumbling Hammond organ keeps the melody. "Leave This Town" is more of the same but he’s accompanied by a female chorus ‘doo wapping’ behind him before he fires up the electric guitar and we have a fuzzed up solo inter laced with accordion.
The guitar work is always quality and a combination of acoustic and pedal slide brings us "Limbo And Grim (Slight Return) The Mariachi Mantra" which reintroduces the horns but forget your dancing shoes as this has a mournful pace against a superb shuffling drum arrangement.
There is a lot to enjoy and it is quite a unique set of sounds Keaveny creates. I found it very evocative and definitely a ‘grower’.