Jimmie Bratcher
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Biography
Jimmie Bratcher
Ain't Skeert Tunes
jimmie.bratcher@gmail.com
(816) 294-1113

This is Blues Country - Classic Country Songs in Blues Style

1. Honky Tonk Blues - 4:44
Hank Williams - Sony Acuff/Rose
"Honky Tonk Blues" is presented here as a straight rocker that honors author Hank Williams' reputation as a prodigal son.

2. You Are My Sunshine - 4:20
Jimmie Davis PEER INTERNATIONAL CORP
"You Are My Sunshine" veers off into a soul-jazz vibe. A close listen reveals the Louisiana state song is not quite the joyful ode to love the title implies. "Everybody thinks it is happy-go-lucky, but it says don't take my sunshine away because, if you do, you will regret it."

3. Singing The Blues - 2:41
Melvin Endsley SONY/ATV ACUFF-ROSE MUSIC
"Singing the Blues" Marty Robbins' switches here to a Texas shuffle feel. It features terrific guitar tones, produced and engineered along with the rest of the record in Bratcher’s home by the guitarist himself"

4. I Don't Hurt Anymore - 3:54
Hank Snow
Don Rollins, Jack Robertson, WB MUSIC CORP OBO DON
ROBERTSON MUSIC CORP CHAPPELL & CO.
"I Don’t Hurt Anymore" Hank Snow’s weeper is performed in the British- blues style that first inspired Bratcher’s guitar playing. "I wasn’t going for anything in particular until I put the lead part in it, then it started to sound like Gary Moore," he says.

5. Under Your Spell Again - 3:40
Buck Owens SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING OBO BEECHWOOD
MUSIC CORP
"Under Your Spell Again" typically associated with Buck Owens' Bakersfield honky tonk version, is here given a pop-soul feel.

6. Am I That Easy To Forget - 4:53
Belew, Stevenson SONY/ATV ACUFF-ROSE MUSIC
"Am I That Easy to Forget" demonstrates that R&B and Country ballads are not far removed. "I just loved that song, and especially the Jim Reeves version," he says. "I thought it fit the soul feel."

7. Don't Worry About Me - 3:43
Marty Robbins BMG PLATINUM SONGS OBO MARIPOSA MUSIC INC
"Don’t Worry About Me" Marty Robbins’ was the first country recordings to feature a fuzz effected guitar.

8. My Sweet Love Ain't Around - 3:18
Hank Williams Sr SONY/ATV ACUFF-ROSE MUSIC
"My Sweet Love Ain't Around" is a somewhat obscure Hank Williams song. That turned into a southern rock monster.

9. Today I Started Loving You Again - 3:50
Merle Haggard, Bonnie Owens SONY/ATV TREE PUBLISHIN
"Today I Started Loving You Again" The Merle Haggard classic, came from a version by a blues legend Bobby 'Blue' Bland. "We used the piano part and I stuck a resonator guitar on to blues it up a little bit more."

10. I Can't Stop Loving You - 4:08
Don Gibson SONY/ATV ACUFF-ROSE MUSIC
“"I Can’t Stop Loving You" Finally, the band heads down to New Orleans. This brings the concept home as Bratcher and band reaffirm the ties that bind the various branches of American roots music together.

Producer Jimmie Bratcher
Mix Jim Gaines
www.jimmiebratcher.com
© 2017 Ain’t Skeert Tunes

This is Blues Country
Credits & Thanks


Jimmie Bratcher producer, guitar, vocals
Rick Yord, bass, vocals
Terry Hancock, drums, vocals
Aaron Mayfield, B3 & Piano
Larry Van Loon, B3 & Wurlitzer
Amanda Fish, vocals
Sean McDonald, slide guitar
Recorded in My Office
Mixed by Jim Gaines at Bessie Blue Studios
Mastering Jeffrey Reed Taproot Audio Design
Sherri Bratcher, Special Consultant
Photography, Isaac Alongi iastudios.com
Art Layout, Nichole Kammerer
Today I Started Loving You Again, arrangement Don Gant, Ron Chancey
All other arrangements Jimmie Bratcher

Special thanks to Rick & Karen Yord and Terry Hancock for their dedication to the music and making this project happen. I would have never been able to complete this project without your help with arrangements and your laughter. Much love to you all. Thank you...

Thanks to Frank Hicks at Knucklehead Saloon for giving me the push that I needed to record this project.

Thanks to Gary Starnes & Paul Clark for loaning me microphones.

Bio for Jimmie Bratcher
In 1962, Ray Charles recorded his groundbreaking record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, revealing for all to hear the vital connection between country music, the blues, and the church. In 2017, Jimmie Bratcher’s This Is Blues Country arrives to remind us of that connection, with a combination of fiery blues guitar and gospel inspired vocals applied to ten Grand Ole Opry classics.

Most of the music America has given the world derives from the church: Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis turned their religious fervor into early rock and roll; country and bluegrass artists regularly released albums of hymns; even Elvis released over 80 tracks of gospel music.

“A lot of the early blues guys were itinerant preachers,” says Jimmie Bratcher. “There are stories of Son House playing in a juke joint all night Saturday then jumping up on the bar come Sunday morning to preach a hellfire and damnation sermon.”

In Bratcher’s case the process involved beginning in country, blues, and rock before his own “come to Jesus” moment led him to the Lord’s way. The life of an itinerant musician had pushed the guitarist down a path of substance abuse, culminating in a fight with his wife that put him in the hospital. Nevertheless, a year later Bratcher and his now ex decided to try again.

“I presented the marriage license to the preacher,” he recalls. “His first response was, ‘I’m not gonna join this mess together.’ He later changed his mind, saying, ‘I’ll marry you, but you’re gonna believe in Jesus tonight.’ I thought, ‘Okay, but nothing will happen.’ We said our vows, I said, ‘I believe in Jesus,’ and when I stood up I was a different person.”

The newly clean Bratcher soon took up preaching himself. The church told him the blues was not godly, so for 20 years he lay down his electric guitar and amp, playing only acoustic gospel tunes in front of the congregation. Eventually deciding “there is no devil or Christian music, just good or bad music,” he started integrating gospel content into the blues form. This led to a run of six albums that earned him the nickname, “The Electric Rev.” For his last record, Secretly Famous and this one, Bratcher returned to secular lyrics and was delighted to discover that church audiences too respond to the blues.

“People in church often say, ‘I didn’t think I liked the blues, but I like this’,” he says. “I have been taking the blues to its most vocal critics and have had nothing but success.”

This is Blues Country brings Bratcher back to his roots as a young guitarist who owned both Jimi Hendrix’ Axis Bold As Love and Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison. Recording blues-based versions of classic country songs makes perfect sense as, in addition to both being connected to the church, blues and country retain a strong connection to each other.

“If you listen to the original versions of some of the songs I chose, like ‘Honky Tonk Blues’ and ‘Don’t Worry About Me,’ they are basically blues structures,” Bratcher explains. “I wanted to pick songs that were suitable to a blues format, and then stay as close as possible to the original vocal melody.”

Speaking of vocal melodies, this might be a good time to mention that in addition to his guitar mastery Bratcher brings a soulful singing voice to this collection of reimagined standards.

The aforementioned “Honky Tonk Blues” is presented here as a straight rocker that honors author Hank Williams’ reputation as a hard liver, while “You Are My Sunshine” veers off into a soul-jazz vibe.

“I was listening to Les McCann’s tune ‘Compared to What,’” Bratcher recalls. “I played it for the guys and told them that was the feel I was going for.” A close listen reveals the Louisiana state song is not quite the joyful ode to love the title implies. “Everybody thinks it is happy-go-lucky, but it says don’t take my sunshine away because, if you do, you will regret it.”

Hank Snow’s weeper, “I Don’t Hurt Anymore,” is performed in the British- blues style that first inspired Bratcher’s guitar playing. “I wasn’t going for anything in particular until I put the lead part in it, then it started to sound like Gary Moore,” he says.

The swing of Marty Robbins’ “Singing the Blues” switches here to a Texas shuffle feel. It features terrific guitar tones, produced and engineered along with the rest of the record in Bratcher’s home by the guitarist himself. “I did two albums with producer Jim Gaines [Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Miller], so I have an idea of how to get a guitar tone,” he offers.

“Under Your Spell Again,” typically associated with Buck Owens’ Bakersfield honky tonk version, is here given a pop sound. “I heard Barbara Fairchild’s version and thought it would make a great ballad, so I slowed it down,” says the artist. “My bass player said, ‘That was the most excruciating three and a half minutes of my life,’ so I came up with a more upbeat Motown-ish arrangement.”

Bratcher’s version of “Am I That Easy to Forget” demonstrates that R&B and Country ballads are not far removed. “I just loved that song, and especially the Jim Reeves version,” he says. “I thought it fit the soul feel.”

Bratcher didn’t know Marty Robbins’s “Don’t Worry About Me” was one of the first recordings to feature a fuzz effect when he added fuzz guitar to his own version. “My parents bought me my first pedal, a UMI Buzz Tone, out of a Sears catalog when I was 15,” he recalls. “After I used it on this song, I read that when they tracked the original version, one console channel was broken and the producer just left it like that.”

“My Sweet Love Ain’t Around” is a somewhat obscure Hank Williams song. “There are a couple of versions of it,” says Bratcher. “One has four or five verses in it; another has just the two that I recorded. I had been binging on the Netflix series Longmire and the sound of that track is inspired by the opening chord of each episode.”

His approach to the Merle Haggard classic, “Today I Started Loving You Again,” came from a version by a blues legend. “It was inspired by the Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland arrangement,” says Bratcher. “We used the piano part and I stuck a resonator guitar on to blues it up a little bit more.”

Finally, the band heads down to New Orleans for “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” one of the big hits off of Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. This brings the concept home as Bratcher and band reaffirm the ties that bind the various branches of American roots music together.

Blues and Country are both about the day-to-day struggles of hard-working people. Bratcher’s own story contains enough material for a boxed set of blues and country tunes, and is the source of the authenticity that fuels the performances on This Is Blues Country—which might have just as easily been called This Is Jimmie Bratcher Country.
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  • Members:
  • Sounds Like:
    Eric Clapton, Jonny Lang, Albert King
  • Influences:
    Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    06/24/17
  • Profile Last Updated:
    09/05/17 11:12:07
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