MP3 Jim Condie - Distant Cousins
This file is no longer available on Tradebit.
(John New, EFN Magazine)
11 MP3 Songs in this album (41:04) !
Related styles: BLUES: Guitar Blues, COUNTRY: Country Blues
People who are interested in Martin Simpson Ry Cooder Eric Bibb should consider this download.
Jim Condie is one of those guys who's been around forever, it seems. Blues aficionados in the UK have seen him crop up in all sorts of surprising venues, working with an unrivalled broad spectrum of artistes, from the incredibly famous (Van Morrison, Charlie Musselwhite, etc) to the virtually unknown outside of a cult following (Tracy Nelson, Mose Scarlett, Amos Garrett etc). It was while touring with several of the latter over the past few years that Jim came under pressure from both his peers and his 'customers' (to quote one of his heroes, the late Warren Zevon) to produce a CD of his own.
In 2002, the seed of an idea for a Jim Condie album was germinated, and in the Spring of 2003, the 'Distant Cousins' CD was born, after a gestation period of about 9 months funnily enough! Jim's original intention was to come up with a representation of his live solo set, just one man, his voice, and his guitar, but as the project progressed, the inevitable happened. As a player accustomed to spending too many hours in recording studios, Jim couldn't resist the challenge of realising the potential a multi-track digital studio presented him with.
Soon the solitary guitar was joined by Dobro, mandolin, lap steel, double bass, and drums, and the voice had 6 others behind it on several occasions. Where it seemed appropriate, Jim stuck with the original concept, producing some outstanding tracks - two instrumentals, namely his self-penned 'Farewell to Edinburgh' and Joseph Spence's 'Great Dream from Heaven,' along with Woody Guthrie's 'Vigilante Man,' which owes a huge debt to another hero, Ry Cooder.
However, the overall feel of the CD is a very uplifting one, with the opening track - the self-penned 'Judgement Day' - setting the dominant mood for the CD. (This track, in fact, so impressed US guitar legend Amos Garrett that he has recorded it himself for inclusion on his forthcoming CD!) Other tracks in this vein include Bumblebee Slim's 'Greasy Greens', Steve Pineo's 'Didn't Quite Make It', Mississippi John Hurt's 'Make Me A Pallet On The Floor', and the traditional 'Livin' With The Blues'.
As well as being a spirited and inspired recording, 'Distant Cousins' goes a long way to demonstrating what a versatile and accomplished musician Jim Condie has grown into. 'Talco Girl', a song by Steve James, the traditional 'Tamp 'Em Up Solid' and the guitarists' favourite, Santo & Johnny's 'Sleepwalk' show his mastery of fingerstyle guitar, mandolin, slide guitar, and lap steel guitar - in spite of what you may imagine it says on the liner notes!
Jim reckons he had a great time recording this CD - a virtue that shines through on all tracks - and feels confident that anyone lucky enough to take a chance and buy it will reap the benefit. Now it's time we persuaded him to get back into the studio and record that follow-up. We can't wait!
(Here's what Captain Beefheart had to say about the project back in 1972...)
There's a limited supply,
They're down to the dozens,
And this is why... '
Read on for some of the ecstatic reviews this album has inspired. (It has been nominated Album of the Month by Country Music Roundup magazine, Album of the Week by Sounds Country magazine, Recommended for 2002 by Blues In Britain magazine, awarded 8/10 by Hifi Plus magazine, 4 stars by the Glasgow Herald, etc.)
"His American roots are proclaimed in everything Jim Condie does. As player and promoter he has worked with the rich-voiced Mose Scarlett, innovative string-bender Amos Garrett and country soul great Tracy Nelson. The new album, Distant Cousins (on Red Beret Records), is steeped in Americana, from the rusting Cadillac and hovering UFO on the cover. The songs themselves are deep in the American grain, and include panhandle rags (Judgement Day), dust bowl dirges (Vigilante Man), worksongs (Tamp 'Em Up Solid) and a Hawaiian-style instrumental (Sleepwalk). The fact that Jim Condie is a native Scot enhances rather than detracts from his achievement. Distant Cousins is, in all its externals, as authentic and timeless as the best in American roots music. Several tracks acknowledge a debt to Ry Cooder, especially the Cooder of Into The Purple Valley. Like his idol, Condie has diversified into soundtrack work. He is best known for providing! the lap-steel guitar theme for the TV series, Rab C Nesbitt."
CD Review from Manchester City Life magazine.
"Jim Condie has had an interesting career - putting it mildly. Picking up the guitar at 14 he didn't really see his first break until the age of 30 when he got a job backing Lena Zavaroni and Hercules the Bear (we all have to start somewhere). The next few years were spent in various bands and as a sideman to people like Van Morrison and Ali Farka Touré, He also had a spell as a promoter before taking the solo route and Distant Cousins is his first release. The album is acoustic based, rootsy folk/ blues/ country in the vein of early Ry Cooder and features some absolutely stunning picking from Condie on guitar. He handles most (all, actually:- ed.) of the vocals and gets terrific backing from his band, especially Dice Jameson on Dobro and Jane Discome on mandolin. (Her playing on 'Make Me a Pallet on the Floor' is as good as any Nashville musician could offer;-) There are 3 beautifully picked instrumentals, along with an authentic trawl through Woody Guthrie's 'Vigilante Man', where Condie treats us to his considerable talents on acoustic slide.
If those classic early Cooder albums like Into the Purple Valley and Chicken Skin Music are on your record racks, I strongly suggest you check out Distant Cousins. It might be Scottish made but it has an all American feel."
CD review from Hifi Plus Magazine
"Blues aficionados in the UK are well aware of Jim Condie. He is an artiste with a considerable reputation. For two decades now he has performed and collaborated with some major names, and with Ron Tait (as "The Rootsies Duo") opened for such luminaries as Chuck Berry, Albert King, Taj Mahal and Memphis Slim.
But amazingly this is his first solo CD. It consists of some self-penned work and some Condie interpretations of classics. So what's my verdict?
I'd say that it's an album that displays an authoritative approach to the material, and also shows a nice degree of eclecticism (for instance his guitar work on his own composition "Farewell to Edinburgh" is folky - and GOOD enough - to conjure up thoughts of Bert Jansch at his best).
The two standout tracks are the Woody Guthrie classic "Vigilante Man" (here given the Ry Cooder treatment) and "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor". This latter song is really delivered with gusto: I think it the best version I can recall since the great Johnny Silvo put his stamp on to this folk/blues standard.
Condie surrounds himself with some tasty musicians. The two that stand out are Dice Jameson's Dobro, and the remarkable mandolin playing of the Canadian, Jane Discome.
I have to say that this album is of real merit."
CD review from Folk World magazine
Breaking News! Jim Condie's 'Judgement Day'(from this album) has now been recorded by US guitar legend Amos Garrett for his new CD 'Michigan Water Blues' on Stony Plain Records! And Jim has just been recording some new tracks for his follow-up to Distant Cousins. Hear previews of some of these tracks on Jim's new Myspace page at https://www.tradebit.com - if you like them please let him know.
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