Jimmy and the Sleepers is a new band for me out of Edmonton and yet it is their third album and it’s been out for almost a year such are the regional difficulties we work with. They play in the West Coast style, with Jimmy Guiboche on guitars, Alex Varughese on vocals, Dan Shinnan on harp, Chris Brzezicki on bass and Bill Hobson on drums. Hobson and Rott’n Dan, on loan from Boogie Patrol, are new Sleepers. Their original songs bring in a remarkable inventiveness. “All That Money”, about an unhappy rich girl, is especially attractive and well-chosen as the title & opening song. Varughese writes all the lyrics and sings them very well indeed. And he does so again about a wayward girlfriend on “Playing Games”, Jimmy switches to slide through his wah wah pedal for a rather different effect. He’s just on regular slide for the almost rockabilly “Jelly Bean”. They channel Elmore James and his version of “It Hurts me Too” for “Crying on my Shoes” (‘You know just how to kill a good man’) – more than different enough and a major highlight. “(I’ve got the) Devil in Me (…so stay away)” Varughese sings on this rocker and Shinnan gets a very tasty harp break, followed by Jimmy. Another major highlight is the slow “God Only Knows (Why I Let You Go)”, with Jimmy accompanying Varughese on a hollow body guitar and Shinnan on chromatic. More slide, more Elmore as “Burn Down the House” chases “Shake Your Moneymaker” in fine fashion. Jimmy closes the program with “Anne Marie”, a lovely instrumental on his acoustic guitar. Found out a little late about this one but I’m glad I did. Their web site is www.jimmyandthesleepers.com. Musicians combining and recombining in new bands in Alberta seems to be catching on, Rooster Davis being another example. Maybe this concept should be encouraged. 

February 2020 - Dwane Dixon
February 2020 - Sussex