On the local front, long time Chicago area drummer Jim Murray has released his first solo recording entitled “This Love of Mine”, a diverse mix of love songs and ballads that have become his own personal favorites over the many years. While handling his usual drums and percussion duties on the CD, Jim also steps out from behind his drum kit to front and center, with microphone in hand, and adeptly performs the lead vocals on all fourteen tracks. With a nod to the singer that made the Tommy Dorsey classic title track famous, Frank Sinatra, Jim did it his way.
Murray, known as the long time drummer for the Chicago based blues band “Skip Towne and the Greyhounds”, the Skip Towne off shoot “The Drunk Whisperers”, as well as “RPM” (Richardson, Peterson, Murray), has put together what could be best described as part personal anthology, part personal passion play, recruiting members of the bands mentioned above and others, such as Dave Onderdonk, whose crisp guitar strumming on the opening track, Fleetwood Mac’s “Big Love”, would make Lindsey Buckingham proud. Florida’s Joann Togati joins Jim on track five for a pleasing rendition of The Phantom of the Opera’s “All I Ask of You”.
On the seventh track, Jim takes over vocals on the song “Mystery Train”, a tune in which he had previously recorded with Skip Towne. The song, which was made famous by other artists such as Elvis Presley and Paul Butterfield, has long time Chicago area lead vocalist Peter Quinn singing on the Skip Towne version. Quinn sits in on Jim’s rendition, playing harmonica. The aforementioned title track, “This Love of Mine”, slots in at number twelve, and, in the spirit of the song, you can find a picture of Jim recreating the famous fedora clad Sinatra cover from “In the Wee Small hours” on the back of the CD jacket. A live version of the classic Blues standard “Help the Poor” recorded live at the Shady Shores Resort in Sister Lakes, Michigan, closes out the disc.
Also joining Jim on the disc is John Rice, another Skip Towne alum. Rice, who assisted in orchestrating many of the song arrangements, is a long time Nashville first call session musician and multi instrumentalist. A very well produced and evenly balanced recording overall, “This Love of Mine” would make an enjoyable addition to anyone’s music listening pleasure for the upcoming holidays. For a complete track listing and more information on ordering the CD, go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/this-love-of-mine/id939675176
Reviewed by Patrick Kinsella