On their fifth collaboration, Jim and producer Jason Lang (Amanda Marshall, Isabelle Boulay) have enlisted the help of a crack studio band made up of Nick Petrowski (Zachary Richard) on bass guitar, Alain Bergé (Youssou N’Dour, Jean Leloup) on drums, Kenneth Pearson (Janis Joplin, Michel Rivard) on piano and B-3. The resulting vibrance of their dynamic live sound animates the entire collection of songs — narratives of life, love and loss in their many guises — serious subjects presented with irony, humour and hope.
The people Jim writes about may be obsessive, flawed, weak, struggling, young, old, or even dying, but his way of focusing on their courage and imagination and the variety of ways in which they make meaning of their experience leaves one with renewed respect for the power of human resilience. Whether he’s singing about...
• finding solace in nature when things aren’t going well (down to the river, no wind no diamonds),
• paying tribute to the power of passion — for another person, hockey, music or dance (changed man, hey mister grady, a photograph),
• the need to risk in order to stay in the game (jean harvester n)
• or the accidental nature of falling in love (accidentally)
... there’s a sense that even though there’sno turning back, and no matter how hard the rain falls (umbrella rain), life — and the ephemeral present tense we are given (even if) is bold, broad, mysterious and beautiful — and an adventure well worth undertaking.
If his last cd (the country blues collection) sounded like two guys sitting around the kitchen playing guitar, this time around the sound harkens back to Jim’s days and years of playing with a band and performing live. Recorded in just two days, the tracks capture the magic of a live performance and the energy and sheer pleasure of making music with a group of talented musicians. “To do this with my own songs was a kind of dream come true for me; and while the songs started out with just me singing and playing guitar and can still be presented that way, for me the additional rhythms, sounds and colours on this recording take the collection to a whole other level."