Jimmy Thackery is an American blues singer and guitarist, who came to fame early in 1972 as a member of the Nighthawks, a Washington, D.C. based blues and roots rock ensemble.
Thackery recorded 20 albums with the band before leaving the group in 1986 to tour under his own name and with the Assassins, a six-piece original blues, rock and R&B ensemble which he had previously helped start as a vacation band when The Nighthawks took one of their rare breaks.
Originally billed as Jimmy Thackery and The Assassins, the band toured the U.S. Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, and Texas regions. The Assassins released a variety of recordings on the Seymour record label, two on vinyl (No Previous Record and Partners in Crime) and the 1989 CD Cut Me Loose.
In the wake of the Assassins 1991 break-up, Theckery has been leading a trio, Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, whose early recordings were for the San Francisco, California based Blind Pig Records. In 2002 Thackery released, We Got It, his first album on Telarc and in 2006, In the Natural State with Earl and Ernie Cate on Rykodisc. In 2007, he released Solid Ice again with The Drivers.
He’s one of the few blues guitarists who learned first hand from the masters of the blues, not off a blues record or DVD.
Thackery performs nearly 300 shows a year and absorbed the artistic lessons of life and filtered them into his guitar playing and song writing.
It was Thackery’s time on stage with Muddy Waters that is branded deep within his musical soul.
“Muddy was one of those guys who was constantly encouraging. He never told you what to do, but he always told you what you were doing wrong. He never minced words about that.
“The first time on stage with Muddy, I was in such awe of him that I just kept my eyes and ears open and just picked up on everything he did. It was the dynamics they had that became so ingrained in us. We heard it on the records and then stood on stage and saw how it worked.”
These days, Whenever Thackery plays live, a guitar stand props up four guitars and Thackery will announce to the audience, I’m gonna use all of them tonight!”
His recordings are no different. In that time, he’s recorded eight discs for Blind Pig. After leaving Blind Pig, Thackery has released and produced two of his own records, We Got It and True Stories, on Telarc and two collaborations on Telarc with Tab Benoit, Whiskey Store and Whiskey Store Live. And there was the critically acclaimed reunion with his old friend David Raitt on Blue Rock It”
All this has lead to a new Jimmy Thackery. Because every record is more about originals than covers, Jimmy traveled to Nashville to work out his songs with some of the best.
This is not a Jimmy Thackery goes country. This is Jimmy Thackery rocks the blues.
“I think True Stories on Telarc is my best song writing to date. For the newest Telarc project I went to Nashville to work with Gary Nicholson. I wanted to go and see how the guys in Nashville go about writing songs. We wrote this from the ground up. I came in with hooks and ideas and lines. I didn’t want to be overly prepared. I wanted to see how they build these songs lyrically. What you do with Gary Nicholson is throw out a hook or line and take off from there and you don’t leave that garage until you’re done with a song.”
To make the best record possible, Jimmy hired some of the best musicians Nashville had to offer. It’s no coincidence that many of these names also work with fellow blues rocker, Delbert McClinton. Jimmy notes that even though it has a Delbert feel, it still has all of his integrity. “Maybe because of the way it’s laid out and the common musicians, it will strike a chord with fans who don’t normally buy my records.”
To support his newest project, Thackery’s ready to do the road time. “I started thinking that I missed the days when I was just a full blown, kick ass trio. I thought it would be fun to go back to that. I did keep Mark Stutso, my drummer of 15 years. He knows what direction I’m going in before I do.”
Between constant road work with his own band, producing the latest record by his Arkansas friends, the Cate Brothers, recording Whiskey Store with Tab Benoit and touring in support and playing various Nighthawks reunions, Thackery’s plate is overflowing, and that’s exactly how Thackery likes life – Overflowing.
* Highly regarded blues musician came to fame in the Nighthawks.
* Played with Muddy Waters
* Recently collaborated with Tab Benoit, Delbert McClinton and Gary