Review: ‘Jimmie Dale Gilmore’

Jimmie Dale Gilmore (House of Blues; 1,000 capacity; $ 15) Presented inhouse. Band: Gilmore, Brad Fordham, Rob Gjersoe, Rob Hooper. Reviewed July 15, 1997. Jimmie Dale Gilmore began his House of Blues debut alone with an oversized blond guitar, singing one of his best-known and simplest works, the campfire ballad "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown." From there each song got a little faster and a little more unhinged, his backing trio joining him a member at a time and adding a propulsion that sent his set straight up a vertical incline to a fiery conclusion. Each step of the way, Gilmore moved further and further from the Texas troubadour image he began nurturing in the 1970s with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. And for close to half of the back end of his 90-minute set, the gray-haired Gilmore relished the rock 'n' roll downpour that surrounded him, all but ignoring the country leanings of the material that filled the first half of the show. He provided little commentary, and instead he joked about his two Grammy nominations in the contemporary folk slot. Taking neither insult nor glory in the categorization, Gilmore lent credence to the folk notion with his softer material, all stamped indelibly with the concerns of small-town Texas --- the tavern, the friends, the trains and city lights in the distance --- all informed by a sense of yearning and told with a directness that leaves little room for misinterpretation. Gilmore's cherished songs --- "If I Were a Bluebird" and "Dallas" for starters --- were pushed out of their gentle recorded contexts and into tougher roadhouse territory, and the title track from his latest Elektra disc, "Braver New World," shows his flair for a pop lick. At the core throughout, however, is Gilmore's engaging voice, nasal yet gentle as a spring morning with a hint of weariness that adds to the sincerity of each word.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore (House of Blues; 1,000 capacity; $ 15) Presented inhouse. Band: Gilmore, Brad Fordham, Rob Gjersoe, Rob Hooper. Reviewed July 15, 1997. Jimmie Dale Gilmore began his House of Blues debut alone with an oversized blond guitar, singing one of his best-known and simplest works, the campfire ballad “Tonight I Think I’m Gonna Go Downtown.” From there each song got a little faster and a little more unhinged, his backing trio joining him a member at a time and adding a propulsion that sent his set straight up a vertical incline to a fiery conclusion. Each step of the way, Gilmore moved further and further from the Texas troubadour image he began nurturing in the 1970s with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. And for close to half of the back end of his 90-minute set, the gray-haired Gilmore relished the rock ‘n’ roll downpour that surrounded him, all but ignoring the country leanings of the material that filled the first half of the show. He provided little commentary, and instead he joked about his two Grammy nominations in the contemporary folk slot. Taking neither insult nor glory in the categorization, Gilmore lent credence to the folk notion with his softer material, all stamped indelibly with the concerns of small-town Texas — the tavern, the friends, the trains and city lights in the distance — all informed by a sense of yearning and told with a directness that leaves little room for misinterpretation. Gilmore’s cherished songs — “If I Were a Bluebird” and “Dallas” for starters — were pushed out of their gentle recorded contexts and into tougher roadhouse territory, and the title track from his latest Elektra disc, “Braver New World,” shows his flair for a pop lick. At the core throughout, however, is Gilmore’s engaging voice, nasal yet gentle as a spring morning with a hint of weariness that adds to the sincerity of each word.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore

House of Blues; 1,000 capacity; $15

Production

Presented inhouse. Band: Gilmore, Brad Fordham, Rob Gjersoe, Rob Hooper. Reviewed July 15, 1997.
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