Jimmie Dale Gilmore | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jimmie Dale Gilmore 

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Austin's Jimmie Dale Gilmore is one ornery sumbitch. Thwarting the very real possibility of gaining a larger audience after the terrific, expansive Spinning Around the Sun, he waits three years to release the current Braver Newer World. When it arrives, turns out he's swapped the gently burnished country rock of the previous album for a truly inside-out folk rock. And the album's impressive support cast--which includes drummer Jim Keltner, bassist Jerry Scheff, pedal-steel master Greg Leisz, and guitarist Tony Gilkyson--consists almost entirely of hired guns, resulting in a sound that's miles away from that of Gilmore's working band. It may be that T-Bone Burnett, who produced BNW, is partly to blame for all these things--at least one completed version of the record was scrapped, which may account for some of the delay. On the album's final song, "Outside the Lines," Gilmore sings, "I painted myself into a corner / But footprints / Are just about to become part of my design," but it's Burnett's fingerprints that are everywhere. Despite some needless atmospheric washes, the production of Al Strehli's gorgeous "Come Fly Away" is suitably gentle, softly caressing Gilmore's fragile warble, but too often Burnett takes a largely incongruous rock approach. On "Headed for a Fall" the layers of sound--multiple electric guitars and droning horns--seem to have crushed the song by its conclusion. Rock is certainly in Gilmore's blood, but it frequently smothers him on Braver Newer World. Despite these drawbacks, however, Gilmore's still in fine voice, and his originals reveal a man at peace with the world, but not resigned to it. Friday and Saturday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620.


Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Caroline Greyshock.

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