jay@bopswingntwang.com

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Jimmy Bryant – Country Cabin Jazz

Country Cabin Jazz Cover

Country Cabin Jazz was the first album I'd ever heard by Jimmy Bryant when I first received it as a Christmas present when I was around 20. It completely changed my whole attitude towards music and playing, I realized that I had a long way to go and would probably never make it to the playing standard of Jimmy.

Audio CD (13 Jan. 2008)
Number of Discs: 1
Tracks: 12
Format: Import
Label: Japanese Indies

Tracks

1. Frettin fingers 2. The night rider 3. Deep water 4. Jammin' with Jimmy 5. Whistle stop 6. Stratosphere boogie 7. Pickin' peppers 8. Pushin' the blues 9. Rolling sky 10. Yodeling guitar 11. Bryant's boogie 12. Hometown polka

The album was originally released in 1960, but has been out of print for many years, it was re-released in Japan in 2008 on cd, but can only be purchased on import. This is a great shame as it is a fantastic album which show off Jimmy Bryant & Speedy West at their best.

Conclusion

Due to the fact that this album is only available now on import I would only recommend it to a serious collector, I've seen it going for as much as $70. You may come across it in places like Ebay, in both Vinyl and CD formats.

There are alternatives which fill the gaps.

Swingin' On The Strings: The Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant Collection;Volume 2

5 StarsAudio CD (23 Dec. 1999)
Number of Discs: 1
Tracks: 20
Format: Import
Label: Razor & Tie

Tracks

1. Frettin Fingersย  2. Lover 3. Two Of A Kind 4. Yodeling Guitars 5. West Of Samoa 6. Opus 1 7. Truck Driver's Ride 8. T-Bone Rag 9. Skiddle-Dee-Boo 10. China Boy 11. Railroadin 12. Jammin With Jimmy 13. Deep Water 14. This Ain't The Blues 15. The Rolling Sky 16.

Whistle Stop 17. Hillcrest (Opus 3) 18. Pushin The Blues 19. Swingin On The Strings 20. Caffeene Patrol

Overveiw

If you like Rockabilly, Western Swing, Jazz or Bebop, there is going to be something in here that you'll probably like. Even if it's just the appreciation of 2 incredible musicians working together so eloquently and professionally.

The first track called Frettin Fingers sounds like it is double tracked in places. Apparently this was actually played live on a 12 string tuned to 5ths (I kid you not). Also you'll hear Jimmy Bryant playing the fiddle in some of the tracks.

Another outstanding track is Chine Boy, this one goes on a bit & you can tell it is improvised. If you're a musician you'll appreciate this one more and in some versions you can hear some studio banter going on joking about how long it went on for.

Apparently there is a volume 1 to this collection, but I can't find any information about it at this time!

Conclusion

If you appreciate fine musicianship and are looking to add to your cd collection, I can highly recommend

Swingin' On The Strings: The Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant Collection;Volume 2

Stratosphere Boogie

5 Stars
Audio CD (May 23, 1995)
Number of Discs: 1
Tracks: 16
Label: Razor & Tie

Tracks

1. Stratosphere Boogie 2. Blue Bonnet Rag 3. Cotton Pickin' 4. Old Joe Clark 5. Sleepwalker's Lullaby 6. Arkansas Traveler 7. The Night Rider 8. Low Man On A Totem Pole 9. Speedin' West 10. Comin' On 11. Bryant's Bounce 12. Midnight Ramble 13. Pickin' Peppers 14. Shuffleboard Rag 15. Bustin' Thru 16. Flippin' The Lid

Filling The Gaps

Swingin' On The Strings and Stratosphere give you 36 tracks compared to the 12 on Country Cabin Jazz, so it's a no brainer which is the best deal.

There are no duplicates either. Stratosphere Boogie contains more tracks from the mid 50's, which is my personal favourite area for most music.

Tracks of notice on here (For me anyway) are:

Stratosphere Boogie, Old Joe Clark, Arkansas Traveller, The Night Rider, Bryant's Bounce, and Pickin' Peppers. This isn't to suggest that the others tracks aren't good, this isn't the case at all. But these are the ones that simply stand out for me guitar wise.

Conclusion

If by now you've come to realize there is a gap in your CD collection and you feel you have a home for Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West, these 2 CD's will more than adequately fill your needs. Whether you're a musician or just a fan of good musicianship, I can't understand how anybody could ever question the sheer talent displayed here.

20 Comments

  1. Markus

    Wow! now that brings back some memories. Jimmy Bryant’s Country Cabin Jazz if I remember right this was a album my mother had in her collection.

    I would have been four when this album came out in 1960, and in 1962 I started taking music lessons at 6. I said that to say this: from 62 to 64,65 I remember seeing Jimmy Bryan and Speedy Wes on a show called “The Art Linkletter Show” I believe it was anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ However I had become a fan of Tennessee Ernie Ford and remember Jimmy Bryant playing for him on occasion.

    I’m not sure but I believe I even heard he did some work with Les Paul. But looking back this was an amazing player and still is even in todays standard. And I always now what a Tele. sounds like because of him. There are a few tunes on this album that everyone likes but if I think about its Bryant’s Boogie.

    Anyway I’m glad you could find this album for us, it defiantly is a collectors piece. $70 isn’t that much and I’ve seen it at Amazon for $95 Vinyl.

    Great information for this style of music. We need to always remember these folks who shaped our music today. Look forward to more great music for this era coming from you.

    Thanks
    Markus

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Markus, it’s amazing to actually come across someone that even knows who he is. You’re correct about him doing some work with Les Paul, it is covered here on my other Jimmy Bryant article. Fender even released a Sig Telecaster, I left it out of this article because I need to get more information on it first

      Reply
  2. JohnCWS

    Dang, I haven’t heard the name Jimmy Bryant in a long time! My father had some his work in his collection. He use to rock out to it all the time. When he passed on, I inherited the collection. I must say, they don’t make music like this anymore. This is the good ol stuff! Very great review and article. Can’t wait to read more down the road!

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      I agree, they certainly don’t make music like this any more. I’d also say it’s rare to find such natural talent also, I study many hours a day, but I doubt I’ll ever achieve that level of playing.

      Reply
  3. Kerry Bramham

    Hi Jay,
    Cool site. I really enjoyed those old film clips with some great guitar playing. I must admit that I have never learned to play but I have always loved the guitar and appreciate anyone who can play well.
    I have always loved watching people play and find there is nothing better at parties then when someone gets their guitar out.
    Keep the articles coming
    Kerry

    Reply
    1. Jay

      The actual film footage isn’t the same as the music being played, whoever made the video just added the soundtrack to some live footage of Jimmy playing. It’s still nice to actually see him though.

      Reply
  4. Todd

    What a great review! You have really given the reader a good idea of what to expect before listening to the album. I am a fan of country music, but I have never heard of jimmy Bryant. I think I will be trying to find it next time I hit the music store

    Reply
    1. Jay

      Hi Todd, I think considering how old these recordings are, it’s amazing that they sound as fresh now as they did back then. Whenever I listen to this kind of music I feel alive.

      Reply
  5. Nick

    While I am not a fan of this kind of music, I did enjoy reading your review. It was very informative and structured very well. I can see that you are a fan of Jimmy Bryant. I really like the web site design, it is pleasing to the eyes. Keep up with the good work!

    Reply
  6. Jay (Post author)

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, it’s a shame it isn’t for you, it is first class musicianship.

    Reply
  7. Larry

    Well, Jay!!

    This is encouraging!!

    Started to taking blues finger picking lessons and after listening to this. Well, my dreams of being a guitar picker are just shot to hell.

    WOW!! Listening to videos and wonder if the neck ever caught fire!!

    Ashamed to say I’m not really familiar with Jimmy but enjoyed listening to him play.

    Thanks, Jay. For the great writing and I’ll try to find something in this style of music so we can jam out to it someday.

    Larry

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      As far as I’m concerned, Jimmy Bryant was well ahead of his time and puts many modern players to shame. If I could play to a quarter of his standard I’d be happy. By the way, Jimmy isn’t a finger picker, it’s all played with a plectrum ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  8. Harrison Welshimer

    Howdy Jay,

    I’m a young sax player and listen mostly to the likes of Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Mike Stern. However, I’m going to have to add Jimmy Bryant to the list!

    I also like how you’ve really developed a specific niche. I’m doing the same with my site but for modern indie/pop/country rock. Look forward to talking more music!

    Harrison

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi Harrison, thanks for stopping by, I appreciate the kind words. Call again soon.

      Reply
  9. Kevin

    Jimmy Bryant is one of those guys that was an enigma on guitar. His scale method and cleanliness when he played is something you develop over YEARS. Especially how he chunked stuff out on basically clean amps with some vintage room reverb.

    He was just sick at picking. Watching his old footage makes me jealous, lol

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Indeed Kevin, it makes me feel like quitting, but I keep on plugging away at it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  10. Ananomyx

    Wow, I had never heard Jimmy Bryant before but the videos are amazing. I love making instrumentals and I could definitely sample some of his tracks. I see he died in 1980 from lung cancer and wonder how much better he would have been if he was still alive. Thanks for all the wonderful information and songs. Great Site:)

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Hi, I really appreciate the kind words, but you’re right. If he had have survived I can’t begin to comprehend how good he would have been!

      Reply
  11. Dan

    Great site and great music, these guys knew how to play. I must admit it’s a genre that I’m no expert in but at least I now know where to come to find out about it.
    Keep up the good work

    Reply
    1. Jay (Post author)

      Thanks a lot Dan, I appreciate you stopping by. Call again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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