FAME Review: The Jimmy Bowskill Band - Back Number
The Jimmy Bowskill Band - Back Number

Back Number

The Jimmy Bowskill Band

RUF Records - RUF1175

Available from Amazon.co.uk.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Jimmy Bowskill has new team members rounding out the JBB power trio, but the former band made a rather nice splash in the pages of FAME with their Live CD a couple years ago (here). This one, Back Number, returns front man to the studio for a fifth release…and that's just after Bowskill turned 21. How many guys do you know who can claim bragging rights like that? As would be expected, this one's a raucous, rocking, put-the-fan-next-to-the-stereo-so-it-don't-melt affair. However, where Live found the gentz on a 70s kick, this one sees them coming up the years, taking a Counting Crows / Lynyrd Skynrd approach heavily peppered with the Capricorn label Southern salt vibe.

It may even be indicative that the group covers one of Grand Funk Railroad's delicious catalogue: Sin's a Good Man's Brother (and, hey Jimbo, ya might wanna inform the copy editor that it's 'Mark Farner', not 'Mark Farmer'), turning in a cover that illuminates a little more brightly what Bowskill's listening menu is and why his sound emerges as it does, thick, rough, and nasty. So, yeah, toss some GFR in with the Skynyrd and Crows comparatives, taken a step further in the follower, Sinking Down, which bridges Grand Funk's heavy metal period with their anthemic later era, still retaining those tasty instrumental workups while looking to a shifting tunefulness. Beyond that, the more you listen, the more you'll unearth elements of Humble Pie's weightier moments, including the fact that Bowskill frequently sounds like Steve Marriott when he sings.

And Jimmy's been working with Ron Sexsmith lately. I'm undecided on that, the guy normally being too bubblegummy pop-y for my tastes, though he can boast of prolific roster of very famous musician admirers. Nonetheless, the association seems not to have hurt Bowskill in the least, the collaborative Little Bird being just as quasi-Grand Funky as other cuts. So, what, you may ask, is my favorite cut on the CD? Probably Seasons Change, a measured but muscular workout that twists, churns, and transmogrifies in grand 70s style, reminding me of a good many enjoyable nights at the Whiskey A Go Go back in the old hurly burly. Can't get enough of that stuff.

Track List:

  • Take a Ride (Jimmy Bowskill)
  • Linger on the Sweet Time
  • Salty Dog (Jimmy Bowskill)
  • Little Bird (Bowskill / Sexsmith)
  • Spirit of the Town (Jimmy Bowskill)
  • Sin's a Good Man's Brother (Mark Farner)
  • Sinking Down (Bowskill / McKeown / Reiff)
  • Down the Road (Jimmy Bowskill)
  • Seasons Change (Bowskill / McKeown / Reiff)
  • Broke Down Engine (Jimmy Bowskill)
  • Least of my Worries (Ron Sexsmith)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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