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MP3 Jimmy "Duck" Holmes - Done Got Tired of Tryin'

One of America''s most acclaimed country bluesmen returns with a second helping of haunting Mississippi blues. If you liked his debut, Back to Bentonia, you''ll love Done Got Tired of Tryin''.

10 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Acoustic Blues, BLUES: Country Blues

A year after the release of his critically lauded debut CD, blues guitarist Jimmy “Duck” Holmes returns with a second slab of deep country blues. Done Got Tired of Tryin’ features 10 new songs performed in the haunting Bentonia, Mississippi style of Holmes’ predecessors, Skip James and Jack Owens. But Holmes also incorporates strong rhythmic elements into his music, thanks to the rousing accompaniment of drummer Lightnin’ Malcolm on several tracks.

The songs on Done Got Tired of Tryin’ stem from two recording sessions held at the Blue Front Café, the rural juke joint Jimmy’s family has operated since 1948. The juke is believed to be the oldest operating juke joint in Mississippi. The CD includes Holmes’ interpretations of several blues classics including “Catfish Blues,” “Train I Ride” and the Bentonia classic, “Cherry Ball.” The remaining tracks spotlight Holmes’ powerful songwriting. Tracks such as “Pencil and Paper” and “Biscuit Roller” display a songwriting voice as strong as any in the country blues world today.

Done Got Tired of Tryin’, like Holmes’ debut Back to Bentonia, will be released by St. Louis-based Broke & Hungry Records. The label also is responsible for Searching for Odell Harris, the debut from 66-year-old Odell Harris and Meet Me in the Cotton Field by Clarksdale blues veterans Terry “Big T” Williams and Wesley “Junebug” Jefferson.



Jimmy “Duck” Holmes continues his single-handed resurrection of the fabled Bentonia country blues tradition with his second release for Broke & Hungry Records, Done Got Tired of Tryin’, as thrilling a set of country blues as you’ll hear this year. Holmes’ debut release, Back To Bentonia, was also the label’s first and was a pleasant surprise, making several Top Ten Best CD lists for 2006.

For his sophomore effort, Holmes shows that the Bentonia style is alive and well and still has much to offer listeners, writing several new compositions that hold up very well next to much-loved classics performed by purveyors Skip James and Jack Owens. “Pencil and Paper,” “Could’ve Been Married,” and “Wake Up Woman” are welcome additions to the Bentonia catalog of songs. Holmes adds a little twist to the style by integrating percussion on several tracks (provided by Lightnin’ Malcolm), which proves to be a refreshing ingredient, particularly on the instrumental workout “Blue Front Breakdown!”

Holmes also offers his own interpretation of several blues standards, including James’ “Cherry Ball,” Junior Parker’s “Train I Ride,” and the Delta classic, “Catfish Blues,” which features Bud Spires on harmonica. The latter two tracks show that Holmes is very capable of stretching beyond the limits of Bentonia blues.

Vocally, while Holmes doesn’t quite possess the upper register of James or Owens (reminiscent of Honeyboy Edwards at times), his deeper and huskier vocals distinguish him from his predecessors and enable to put his own distinctive stamp on the style. His guitar work is in the Bentonia tradition with the intricate fingerpicking, but he can also pick it up a notch quite well on the more upbeat tracks here.

It’s extraordinary that Jimmy “Duck” Holmes has revived this wonderful style and, with a few fine touches here and there, is revitalizing it in the process. Done Got Tired of Tryin’ is another exceptional effort, and will delight traditional country blues fans.

- Graham Clarke /Blues Bytes

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