BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE- http://www.bluesblastmagazine.com
Larry Wimmer – Leavin’ Prophetstown-Gooch Records
8 tracks; 41 minutes www.larrywimmer.com
Larry Wimmer really does himself no favours with a PR leaflet that describes him as ‘a journeyman of the R&B and blues scene in the Midwest’! Actually as Larry wrote, sang and produced everything we hear on this (his third) album as well as playing drums and guitar, he is more “renaissance man” than’ journeyman’! Recorded at several sessions in Wisconsin, Nashville and LA, the album is an enjoyable listen with strong songs and solid playing. Larry is joined by a large cast of musicians: Michael Sinclair, Jim Brock, John Kalkman, Erik Scott and Leland Sklar play bass; drums are mostly Larry himself though Keelan James plays on two tracks; lead guitar duties are handled by Tom Britt, Alex Gowland, Rex Carroll and Mark Rogers; keys are by Nathan Kaddatz, Lemel Lewis and Tim McDonald; Christelle Berthon adds harp and Khalid Jernigan sax to one track each and a choir of Etta Britt, Lala Deaton and Leah Stilson add backing vocals to one cut.
Opening track “What’s The Matter” swings along with horn parts played by keyboardist Nathan, slide from Tom and the chorus of backing singers. Larry’s voice is ideally suited to this sort of soulful material and he carries the song very well, the full band production giving quite an epic feel. The title track takes a leaf out of the Springsteen book with a song about getting away from a small town and if Prophetstown IL is the subject of the song it would certainly qualify with a population of just 2000. Larry has paid his bills and is heading for the Greyhound station: “Gotta be gone, gotta be strong, ‘cos I don’t belong”. “Hands Of Time” has a soulful vibe with Khalid’s ethereal soprano sax and Leland Sklar’s bass lines, Larry’s vocal here sounding like Robert Cray to these ears. A chunky guitar and piano riff underpins a gently funky approach to “Nowhere In Particular”, Larry more than content to hang out with present company.
Infidelity is the subject matter of the funky blues “Just Like A Woman before Larry drops the pace for the gentle love song “Everything I Need”, the longest track and a fine showcase for his voice: “She’s a part of me; some people say if you cut her they believe I would bleed”. “Real Love”, one of the two tracks on which Larry hands over the drum stool to Keelan Jones, gives Larry the opportunity to play some tasty guitar over Nathan’s piano work in another gently funky tune. The final track is “How Long”, a rolling blues with French harp player Christelle Berthon showing her paces.Overall this is a very enjoyable album that shows that Larry is a talented guy who, in this reviewer’s opinion, deserves wider attention.-----John Mitchell
The cover art and photo of Larry Wimmer’s recently submitted " Short & Sweet" might lead one to expect yet another white, acoustic guitar-wielding troubadour.But when the first cut bursts out with mellifluously soulful R&B laced with equally honey-twanged vocals that echo releases from Memphis/New Orleans studios in the ’60s, Mind blown ! Sweetly produced and wth excellent session backers, Wimmer displays excellent precision on guitars and drums throughout. Truly admirable in every way and an equally great way to kick off a new year !
David C. Eldredge-Illinois Entertainer-- http://illinoisentertainer.com
Though it’s clichéd to say so, it’s true... within the first few notes of Larry Wimmer’s second solo release “Short & Sweet” you know you’re going to love this album. It comes on smooth and strong and keeps the vibe going all the way. It’s a careful, layered blues album with almost infinite depth and by the time you’ve listened to it all, your first impression was right - you love this album. The hallmark of this artist is his meticulous, confident style. Never interfering with the groove, each note is perfectly placed. The arrangement, the performances and the whole identity of what he does is centered on a tight,exacting pre-determination.
RUST recently reviewed “Wrapped Up In The Blues” from John Pippus which is similar, and though “Short & Sweet” is a bit more down in tempo both of these albums are really great contemporary blues releases with signature styles, both recorded with love and care. The ambience is just great, the result of both talented people and technical support. “Short & Sweet” has a deep, rich sound that definitely stands apart from the crowd.Larry Wimmer’s “Short & Sweet” is a great contemporary blues album. It’s an effortless combination of tradition and individuality, very well recorded and thoroughly pleasurable to experience. Very Highly Recommended. www.larrywimmer.com
--Eric Peterson- Rust Magazine