Blues - Rock Review: Jimmy Carpenter-Soul Doctor

 Release Date: November 8, 2019
Label: Gulf Coast Records

 If there’s one thing I needed this week, it was a good pick-me-up! Soul Doctor is outstandingly full of energy and true guitarist artistry. Coming from a man who spans close to twenty years and six albums of hard work and music genius. Originally a Country-focused artist Jimmy has maintained much of an Indie look and appeal to his sound.

This is an album to just let all your worries slide away. The opening title track, “Soul Doctor” gives you that revival feel right off the bat. The share between the guitar and the overtaking of the saxophone just blends so effortlessly. The feel-good vibe flows throughout the album, however, thankfully every song varies in their tempo and flavor. “When I Met You,” feels like the artist is constantly reliving that moment when you meet a particular person who just feels like you’ve known them your whole life or you trust them almost immediately. That is possibly one of the strongest bonds of the human race.

Moving forward, “Wild Streak” takes me back to the thought of The Blues Brothers, it seems as though this song would fit them perfectly, both on a studio album and within the movie. If you take a look at the artwork on Soul Doctor, its vibrant color and unique patterns give an idea to the positivity that jumps off the album. The Blues, particularly, in this case, doesn’t always mean negative. Rather, it’s an ode to better times or wanting to relive them in the present somehow.

“Love It So Much,” starts with a drum roll that captures the image of a man marching down the main street to his theme song. His current situation of a routine is just fine by him with a few out of the ordinary happenings along the way. It is my personal favorite of the album because of its reflection on being happy from a minimalist perspective.

Some people long for that close affection of another more than anything else in the world. “Need Your Love So Bad” pays homage to that feeling. The song also has an instrumental section where it breaks away a bit from putting feelings into words. It’s a great transition to showcase what brings the Blues to life…horns and rhythm.

“Wanna Be Right,” is a modern take on a timeless question, what do we desire or want more of? Do you want to be right and have all the answers and things at our disposal, throughout your life, or would you like to be happy and content with life and go with the flow of each day and see what each of us can make of it? The choice is ours.

Following up on that question, the artist creates “One Mint Julep” with all instrumental stylings. The saxophone continues to be the main focus of both the song and album. It lends to a sound that sounds much like a 70’s TV show theme song. However, the keyboard also turns the tune on a more interesting level, bringing down the intensity of the notes then, building back up to the saxophone funk vibe.

Throwing it back somewhat to his Country roots, “Wrong Turn” speaks of how the artist always took the opposite turn of what he was supposed to do. At one point, he says that he sees that things might be changing, but, at the same time, he tells others just what they want to hear. The song is a great combination of Country and Blues, it does a wonderful job of showing the contrast of what we should do and what we go to do; often out of spite.

“Lofi Roulette” is another instrumental piece that is more of a soothing sound than its predecessor. Still keeping with the saxophone, Jimmy Carpenter allows the listener to sit back and relax almost bringing the listener into a trance state to just embrace the sounds and feel of how the guitar builds up and the saxophone stays mostly constant throughout.

“Yeah Man” finishes off the record with a relaxing tune that builds up the listener’s attitude towards the day. The artist speaks of how there are endless possibilities every day as “the sky’s the limit.” It can be pretty struggling at times but, one has to keep the faith that everything will work out for the best of the rest of one’s days…Yeah Man.

Key tracks include: “Wild Streak,” “One Mint Julep,” “Soul Doctor,” and “Love It So Much.”

Gregg Keniston- MuzikMan.net Staff
February 1, 2020

Track Listing:
01. Soul Doctor
02. When I Met You
03. Wild Streak
04. Love It So Much
05. Need Your Love So Bad
06. Wanna Be Right
07. One Mint Julep
08. Wrong Turn
09. Lofi Roulette

10. Yeah Man

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