I don’t want to spoil any of the surprises within the release of the 14-track album, ‘The Luckiest Guy’, by Jimmy Turner and the Tear, as it’s utterly phenomenal. Every aspect of this album has been constructed with such obvious love, passion and talent, from start to finish you’ll find yourself truly lost to the sounds coming through your sound system. This is a masterclass in every single regard of how classic rock n’ roll based music, with a soulful and arty twist, should be made, and I’ll be highly surprised if a better album of it’s kind is released this year. In fact, I’ll be amazed if anybody even attempts to release an album of this classic and organic depth in 2022.
Alongside the beautiful clean vocal performances that carry each track with ease, there are some truly jaw-dropping instrumentals within. There is a heavy focus on tight rhythms and infectious horn arrangements, which are blended with crunchy and fiery guitar riffs, as well as thick rolling basslines, shimmering warm keys, and inspired drumming. Melody and harmony are also essential ingredients of these compositions, which also flourish with relatable storytelling.
Jimmy Acunto, a drummer from Long Island who played in various bands and experienced everything that the 1960s rock and roll era had to offer, is the man behind Jimmy Turner and the Tear. Acunto started this project some ten years ago, while developing his home studio and gathering a small group of musicians along the way, all of which culminated in the release of ‘The Luckiest Guy’.
The core of the band is comprised of multi-instrumentalists Jimmy Acunto and Nick Post, alongside saxophonist Kristen Ingegno. A number of featured collaborators were also called in to add further luster, to what can only be described as an ambitious project.
The featured musicians include: Carrie Martinelli (Piano, Hammond Organ & Background Vocals), Chelsea Takami (Flute & Background Vocals), Rich Castillo (Alto Saxophone), Nick Gardell (Tenor Saxophone), Ray Matuza (Guitar), Will Mignon (Background Vocals), Billy Lucano (Piano) Rose Reina (Guitar), Joe Lashavio (Banjo & Galaxy Electric Harp) and Hanna Guglielmo (Violin).
The authenticity of this recording does not only reside in the real players and real instrumentation utilized throughout, but also in the fact that Jimmy recorded the album on a 24-track 2″ tape machine. The warmth of analog brilliantly captures that vintage sound which the vibrant organic instrumentation thrives in.
Right from the opening track, “Stealing a Breeze” ft. Ray Matuza, the listener is instantly drawn into a dynamic sonic aura, where twinkling keys meet sweeping brass punches, a thumping beat and a wistful melody.
The beauty of ‘The Luckiest Guy’ is that it is awash with rich and fascinating influences from both British and American rock inspirations, while not shying away from the roots of Americana flavors, when needed.
One minute you think you’re listening to the Beatles, early Pink Floyd, or The Travelling Wilbury’s, the next it may be Moby Grape or Tom Petty & Heartbreakers. Make no mistake though, it’s all Jimmy Turner and the Tear, and it is wholesomely fulfilling if you have even the slightest inkling for the sonic pedigrees of rock n’ roll.
The mesmerizing grooves of “Living on a Trampoline” and “The Luckiest Guy” serve to grab a hold of your senses before the catchy melody of “Things Are Gettin’ Better” completely sweeps you away.
The lush harmonics of the contemplative “And I Wonder” ft. Krisyin Ingegno gently leads to the rolling percussion and ear-warming melody of “Stuck on You”. “High Above the Hills” ft. Joe Lashavio brings in the sweet Americana flavors, before stepping up the tempo with the racy “Car Wash Man”.
One of the absolute album highlights has to be the irresistible Beatle-ish sounding “Rainbow Park”. This is followed by the acoustic strum and keyboard murmur of “Found a Penny” – a haunting sound you would expect from The Doors.
At this point, Jimmy Turner and the Tear are in full flight, pushing forward with “Carolina Escape”, the stunning “Lonely Isolation” and “So Dear Tender Heart”, before closing the album with the thoughtful and atmospheric instrumental, “Brook Street”.
As the age-old saying goes, art cannot be rushed, and this album by Jimmy Turner and the Tear is proof that good things come to those who wait. ‘The Luckiest Guy’ makes an extremely entertaining listen, which also leads to an abundance of quality material.
Though kudos need to be given to the vocal and instrumental performances throughout, this record would never be what it is, without the elevated songwriting, recording and production levels, which make it a masterpiece in the current scene.
OFFICIAL LINKS: https://www.jimmyturnermusic.com