Jimmie Bratcher
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Jimmie Bratcher

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"Jimmie Bratcher Sweeps Top 30"

Jimmie Bratcher had the top 5 songs on the Christian Blues Top 30 for April. Bratcher's "Get Out The Boat" was number one for the third month in a row. May 2004 - Christian Blues Net


"Blues in Britain Magazine - Red"

December 2005

The Rev Jimmie Bratcher regularly plays to sold out audiences, and his previous release "Live on the 4th of July" showed just why. "Red" sees him return to the recording studio with his full band in tow, and legendary producer Jim Gaines at the controls.

The rocking blues of "Bad Religion" gets things off to a good start, with the slidework hinting at Sonny Landreth, and Bratcher showing off the grittier side of his voice. When the sound is rounded out further by the horn section, as on tracks like "Mercy" and "Drive" the results get even better. Bratcher combines elements of soul, rock, blues and jazz to create highly listenable music that keeps your attention, and has a message in the lyrics for those who care to listen more closely.

Stand out tracks include "Three Chords" with its walking blues opening, which features some very fine guitar playing, and the horns just help to take things to another level. The other track that really sticks out is "I Love My Baby" which has an introduction reminiscent of the great BB King. In fact, if the King of the Blues is looking for more songs to add to his repertoire, this one would slot right in.

With three acclaimed albums to his credit already, "Red" looks set to make it four in a row. The Rev Jimmie Bratcher is a fine guitarist, singer and songwriter, delivering powerful music with a passion that is all too rare in many albums from the blues genre nowadays. Jim Gaines has brought out the best in the band, ensuring that "Red" is an album that will make people sit up and take notice.

Rating: 8 - Gordon Baxter - Gordon Baxter


"RED Phantom Tollbooth"

November 2005

Jimmie Bratcher’s Red is a highly enjoyable Christian blues/rock release, featuring an impressively well-balanced batch of songs and consistently solid song writing.

What makes Red such a good listen is that its artist is both highly talented with his instruments, yet also adept at writing effective and moving songs. He shows off his guitar skills throughout, yet never at the expense of good songcraft. The sweet melody and soulful backup choir on “Beautiful People” provides for an amazingly beautiful and lush listen, while “Take it Back” features a perfectly tight, short, and fun southern-rock tune. Red flows very smoothly as an album, and features expert production by Jim Gaines (Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn).

Jimmie’s lyrics don’t bite as strongly as his music, sometimes settling into familiar themes and lines that don’t quite express enough of a personal experience. Red is still a good release though, showing a Christian artist that has a heart for sharing his faith and for creating good art. - Jonathan Avants 11/13/05


"Kansas City Blues News – RED"

Reviewed by Raoul

Red is the third album from Kansas City Christian blues-rock guitarist Jimmie Bratcher. I was first introduced to Jimmie's music when he and his band hosted a Kansas City Blues Society jam earlier this year.

I'm not familiar with his first album, Honey in the Rock, but I can attest that Red is definitely a large step up from his second album.

Not that Something Better wasn't a good album. It was just a little too heavy on the ballads for my taste.

The first clue that Jimmie and his band were reaching for greater musical heights on this album is the producer they enlisted. Jim Gaines’ resume includes work with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Carlos Santana. Not only is the sound impeccable, but this band flat-out rocks.

The band includes Jimmie Bratcher on guitar, Doug Dimmel on drums, Jeremy Worden on bass and Paul Draper on organ. In addition to the core band, the album is embellished throughout by tasty horns.

The disk leads off with three scorching blues-rockers; "Bad Religion," "Mercy and "I See Red."

In "Bad Religion," Jimmie decries TV preachers whose fire and brimstone ranting don't leave him feeling forgiven. The fourth track, "Drive," is a delightful and soulful horn laced song about letting Jesus take the wheel and be the driver in your life.

Jimmie Bratcher actually is a reverend. So it is of no surprise that the bulk of his lyrics are religious in nature. This album also includes some secu1ar songs as well. Some examples are the ballad "Dance With Me" and the bouncing soul-blues "I Love My Baby," which are well-written love songs to his wife.

Some songs are from the rock "n' roll side of the tracks, such as "Beautiful People," which to me is reminiscent of the way Lynyrd Skynyrd sounded on the Street Survivors album. Others are pure blues, such as 'Three Chords," of which Jimmie played an acoustic version at the funeral of late KCBS president Stan Koron.

Here me song starts out just acoustic guitar and vocals, then halfway through, the band kicks in with some delightful crunch blasting horns.

The album closes with "Happy," an instrumental guitar and organ jam that sounds like something the latter-day Allman Brothers Band might have dished up. Very nice.

So here are 13 well-written, well-played tracks that only really get quiet on two of them. I highly recommend this album, even to those of you who usually shy away from music featuring Christian lyrics. Perhaps this is part of Reverend Bratcher's plan. Instead of just preaching to the choir, he's dishing out these butt-kicking tunes to get the attention of a wider secular audience.

Oh, by the way, D0 try to catch the Jimmie Bratcher Band live. I've seen them twice now, and I'm here to testify that the sweet sounds of Jimmie's crunching guitar and Paul Draper's B3 organ, backed by that thumping rhythm section, are not to be missed. - Raoul


"Live On the 4th of July DVD/CD"

Blues on Stage
by Gordon Baxter
Review date: November 2005

The Rev. Jimmie Bratcher has been involved in the music business for over 25 years, and regularly plays to sold out venues. After two acclaimed studio albums, comes a live album featuring eight songs (from the preceding albums) recorded live on Independence Day, 2003. The packaging combines a CD from the gig, and a DVD which is supplemented with extra features on the Rev. and the band members.

The show opens in rocking style with "Doctor, Doctor," with the horn section adding that extra something special. Bratcher is a good showman, with a nice line in clean guitar breaks, and a good voice, although he does appear a little close to the edge of his range in places here. Everything is in fine order for "Hey Hey" though, which breaks out into a southern boogie after an extended guitar introduction. Paul Draper's B3 provides the icing on the cake this time. Draper also comes close to stealing the limelight on "Rain" with its slide guitar opening, and southern swamp feel.

Bratcher delivers a few extended spoken introductions, which are all part of his way of getting his message across. One of these raises the questions of what Heaven is like, before the band break into another southern boogie ("Party Going On"), where Jeremy Worden lays down the funky bass solo, and Doug Dimmel also shows what he can do on the drums. The band then swing out on "Can't Get Over It" where the horns really come into their own on the chorus, and Bratcher lays down a very tasty solo.

The band then move into more of a blues vein with "Do You Know A Friend," which chugs along nicely. This time the horns are much more mellow and appropriately understated. The blues vein continues with the slow burner, "Love Running," where the horns are positively smoldering. Once again Bratcher and Draper are very much to the fore, as they are for the closing "Something Better," which is probably the rockiest tune here.

"Live On the 4th of July" is an excellent way to get acquainted with The Rev. Jimmie Bratcher. As well as offering a very good overview of the music on his two previous studio albums, you also get some insights into the man himself and the boys in the band if you watch all the extras on the DVD. Bratcher is an accomplished guitarist, with a good voice, and a good songwriter to boot. Many of the songs here have good hook lines, and can either be listened to in the background, or close up if you want to analyze the message in more depth. On this evidence it is easy to see how Bratcher sells out Christian and secular venues across the USA. If you have not caught up with him yet, "On the 4th of July" gives you a chance to see just what you have been missing. - Gordon Baxter


Discography

"Red" Released in September of 2005
"Live on the 4th of July" 2004 (CD/DVD set)
"Something Better" 2003
"Honey in the Rock" 2001

Various songs from each release can be heard on indie stations around the country and over the internet. Most recently "Bad Religion" a cut from the latest project "Red" has hit #1 with "Something Better" and "Get Out the Boat" still spending week after week in the top 25.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Once you find yourself it is a lot easier to express who you are through your music. With RED, Jimmie has done just that. When asked how he would describe his third studio project this is what he said, “RED is important and honest”; then he went on to describe it by saying “Personally this record is my most important work, because it really expresses who I am and what I believe as a person”.

Red, the third studio project in 5 years for Jimmie, has several noteworthy firsts on it.
Jimmie was joined in the studio by his full band; this allowed them to capture the sound that they play with live. Jim Gaines joined Jimmie at the helm to produce this CD. Jim is known for his Grammy Award winning work with Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughn, among many others. Another very notable first was Jimmie’s wife Sherri joined him in the studio, lending her voice to the song “Dance with me”. A final note is that Jimmie for the first time co-wrote with several of his longtime friends: Eric Stark, Jim Richards, and Jeremy Warden, adding to the diversity of this eclectic collection of music.

With a two year gap between his last studio project and RED, Jimmie seems to have found himself evermore comfortable in his own skin. In fact he describes himself in this record in this way; “I really feel like this record is me being myself”. That feeling is portrayed all throughout the project from “I Love My Baby” through “Restless for the Sun”, and “Dance with Me”, all songs that show Jimmie’s devotion and love for his family. Red finds a maturity and soul brought forth not only in Jimmie’s voice, but in his guitar work as well. Jimmie found a new voice on “RED” and it is a voice that billows from deep inside him as he passionately blurs the line between Blues, Rock, and Jazz.

Written in a type of parable form, the songs on “RED” seem to be more heartfelt and from a deeper place than those on previous records. The real Jimmie Bratcher is presented in a way even those closest to him have never seen. The honesty and passion that is shown is even more so when he takes the stage; you can see that he relates to these songs. To quote Jim Gaines, “Great record, great songs, great guitar work, great people”.