Tequila Jim 2017
With spirit of freedom, Rhode Island multi-instrumentalist finds out the keys to affairs of the heart and the heartland.
This artist’s name may suggest he adopted an old bluesman persona, yet if there’s a reason for Jim Zisiades to do that, it’s an intoxicating element of his songs. The titular way spanning more than four decades, Tequila’s debut album is as American as it gets, with the record’s mix of traditional genres – given an alt. edge to take a salt-of-the-earth approach off the ground – holding a lot of surprises.
Stylistic twists and turns keep the listener on their toes, as the acoustically driven pop bounce of opener “Super Cindy” that’s firmly anchored by Jim’s rough delivery is miles away from the soaring guitar on “Forever” whose desperate, heavy blues are reprised instrumentally at the end to provide a delicate title track with a fitting postscript, while the raga drone of “Sky Is Rain” won’t prepare one for the riff-punctured folk soundscape which gives “Home” an extra dimension.
Despite the deliberate Dylanisms in the vocal inflections, harmonica-oiled groove and lyrics, of “Someday” – prefaced with a short, humorous, roaring “Bogartin'” where a cappella is compromised by birds’ chirp – creating a contrast to “Den Of The Wolves” and its deep, swampy twang, there’s a sense of exhilaration in the album’s ebb and flow. Nothing’s lost here, but a lot of emotions has been gained.