Las Vegas saxophone legend Jimmy Carpenter is back with his fourth solo album,“Soul Doctor.” It’s the newest release on Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records, which has been putting out solid blues records this entire year.
Jimmy Carpenter frequents the oldest blues club in Las Vegas, The Sand Dollar Lounge, which is how I’m familiar with him. I was pleased to find that Chris Tofield, the finest blues guitar slinger you’ll find out that way, is all over this album. Coupled with Nick Schnebelen on title track “Soul Doctor,” and Mike Zito on “Wild Streak,” this 10-track LP is lined up incredibly well with pickers, which pair well with Carpenter’s top-notch tenor sax performance.
Title track “Soul Doctor” comes in hot with Schnebelen’s renowned guitar playing, Carpenter’s sax prowess, and inspired vocals. Jumping ahead to “Love So Much” (Track 4) – Carpenter leads a pretty pleasing sax with a classic New Orleans second-line groove. Chris Tofield steals “Need Your Love So Bad” on guitar in a classic Southside Chicago-blues style slow burner — I know that grease anywhere! Killer brass hounding solo as well.
Jimmy takes his hand at guitar on “Wrong Turn,” and it cooks with gas. Gulf Coast’s founder Guy Hale takes the spotlight on lead vocals, as he co-wrote this song with Carpenter. My favorite cut might be the instrumental “Wanna Be Right,” which is just a good old-fashioned jam between Tofield and Carpenter.
At this point, we should simply trust Gulf Coast Records that it is putting out solid material, release after release. This case is no different with Las Vegas’ own Jimmy Carpenter. It’s really the working man’s blues label, with cats putting out records that are doing it week in and week out in today’s scene. If you like gritty-yet-smooth sax in your blues, pick up the latest from Jimmy Carpenter.
— Jon Siembieda
- Jimmy Carpenter
Released: Sept. 20, 2019
Label: Gulf Coast Records