NEW ALBUM OUT NOW - "A MONTH OF SUNDAYS"
Singer-Songwriter, Slide Guitarist Jim Roberts returns after a two year hiatus with his third album release, “A Month of Sundays.” Along with LA studio musicians The Resonants, he takes us once more down the Blues-Rock-Americana highway from Detroit City south to Mississippi. These days, Jim Roberts divides his time between the vibrant pulse of Los Angeles and the peaceful French countryside. His music encompasses both contemporary urban blues - complete with horn section (“Skeeters” ) and acoustic Cigar Box Guitar blues such as “What Her Evil Do.” Also included is the beautiful ballad; “Made A Promise,” (co-written by Jim and bassist Rick Hollander.) Rick has been a major contributor to this project, co-writing half the songs. In addition to his considerable Bass Guitar skills, he also plays Mandolin and Banjolele on two tunes.
Returning Resonant Grant Cihlar, is again along for the ride. Contributing a second slide guitar part on a song he co-wrote with Jim; “Miss Detroit City 1963.”
Rounding out The Resonants rhythm section are Drummer Mike Harvey (Jack Roberts Harvey Band) and Michael Leasure (Walter Trout, Philip Sayce) who joins in on five tracks.
On horns are Bobby “Hurricane” Spencer and Pat Zicari (who adds some tasty Tenor Sax soloing on “Skeeters” and the smooth jazz Alto Sax outro to “I’m Walkin’ On.”
Harmonica player “Joey G.”(Joey Gomez) stops by to add his Chicago inspired Blues Harp to “What Her Evil Do.”
Of course, there is plenty of Jim Roberts signature slide guitar playing throughout.
Jim Roberts and The Resonants, it’s been a “A Month of Sundays.” Now they’re back and “It’s about time!”
PRESS RELEASE: Jim Roberts & The Resonants are pleased to announce that their new album
"A Month Of Sundays" is now in release . Streaming and downloads available at iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon and others. Jim Roberts & The Resonants will again be represented by 2014 KBA Awardee publicist Frank Roszak's Radio Promotions. Distribution of digital and hard copy CD's will be handled by Memphis based SELECT-O-HITS. Exciting times are ahead. JRR would also like to thank all their friends and fans for the continued support and patience. "A Month Of Sundays" is finally here...."It's about time!"
Below, you can read the reviews of Jim Roberts and The Resonants album; "Beneath The Blood Moon.” It was a FYC (for your consideration) entry in The 60th Grammys.)
Jim Roberts And The Resonants – Beneath The Blood Moon
Cashbox Magazine Canada
This initially seems to be a new independent release from a new US band. But a few years ago the Jack Roberts Harvey Band punched out an excellent, pulsing blues album called ‘Devil On A Dirt Road’, an album that was easily one of the best independent releases of the year. Jim Roberts And The Resonants is none other than the same basic outfit with a new, reinvented name and, yet again, another top-dollar, blues release that could once more prove to be one of the finest indie offerings of the year.
All tracks come from band-members and are powerful, lyrically strong and feature musicianship that genuinely engages with a clear sense of purpose and colour. Roberts himself is an evident slide guitar wizard who switches effortlessly between resonator, electric and cigar-box guitars with ease and ability. The remaining core band members also rock along with a determined drive that pushes through with each successive track. ‘Beneath The Blood Moon’ is a ten-track album that highlights this US West Coast blues band’s skills, confidence and sheer talent to full effect. At times, straight-on blues, there are flashes of swampy Louisiana sounds in the mix together with Delta-inspired hooks and pounding hints of the Deep South.
An excellent album full of top-dollar playing, writing and delivery. One to grab when you can. ...Iain Patience
Jim Roberts & The Resonants
CD Review – May 2017
Blue Barry – Smoky Mountain Blues Society
Like that good old Southern blues, slow slide, roots kinda’ blues? Well here you go! Jim Roberts and the Resonants have a new CD out called “Beneath the Blood Moon.” It’s just what you are looking for. Good old blues with lots of slide, two slide players actually on one cut. Let’s add a cool band that doesn’t get in the way, and the house will rock. Jim has been playing, singing, and writing since the 70’s. Formerly with the Jack Roberts Harvey Band, he’s upped the ante with this newest CD. With ten cuts on the CD Jim wrote seven of them, and had a hand in the other three. Jim does the vocals, slide guitar, and even a cigar box guitar. Grant Cihlar helps out tastefully on slide for that one tandum slide piece. Jim can not only sing, but can play some great slide! I mean it doesn’t matter if it’s acoustic, small sound, or large band. This is a quality CD with great recording. With a couple of different bass players, some piano and Hammond B-3, drums and percussion this is fine music. If you like that southern stuff here you go. Haunting slide that just draws you in. Vocals that add to the groove, and you can hear every instrument. No Star Wars crazy stuff here. The real deal done in a sweet way. I have really enjoyed this CD, and wish I was this smooth and cool. Not loud, not proud, just real blues that aims to please. Mike Harvey on drums and percussion does a masterful job, and Felix Flanagan throws in some boss harp on one cut. Top to bottom good stuff. No lie. Every song is strong. The farther it goes the more you fall into the Jim Roberts sound. Most songs are four and five minutes long. Time enuf to get in there with them. Singing about the delta, and the road life, and life’s craziness he covers a lot of blues topics, and does them all well! If you are a slide lover check this out. www.jimrobertsandtheresonants.com Really fine music. If he comes to your town you need to go see. Smooth as silk, gritty as sandpaper, goes down well with some bourbon. Guaranteed! Now go check it out. Sent out there with love,
blue barry – smoky mountain blues society.
Roberts and the band are deeply rooted in blues, Southern rock and roots music. Their blend of down-home styles paints a background in sound that offers the perfect backdrop for Roberts' tremendous abilities as a storyteller. This music is deeply rooted in traditional blues styles, often haunting in nature, but always true to the Southern way of life and the folklore of the region. Formerly the Jack Roberts Harvey Band, time and circumstances brought about a number of changes. The new rendition of the band features Roberts on vocals, slide guitar and cigar box guitar, Mike Harvey on drums & percussion, bass from Rick Hollander (2, 3, 4 & 8) and Tony Jack Grigsby (1, 5, 6, 7 & 9), Grant Cihlar on slide guitar (2), Nathan Rivera on accordion (5), Felix Flanagan on harmonica (10) and Mike Finnigan on Hammond B-3 (1, 6 & 7) and piano (7). Their love and dedication to the music is obvious, as is their long-term relationship within that music. This is a tight unit with a clear vision of what they want to accomplish from a musical standpoint...and they pull it off beautifully. Often after living with an album for a while to get a feel for the band and their work, the last thing I want to do is put the album on for another listen, after I finish. Now and then I run across a piece of work that puts it into another category altogether. This is one of those albums. Every time I listen to it, I hear something I had not noticed previously. Bottom line, whether you want to call it blues, Southern rock, roots music or whatever, this is good music. To quote Sonny Boy Williamson..."You can call it your mama if you want to." Do yourself a favor and give this one a good listen. You won't regret it. - Bill Wilson
Right from the opening notes of the title track, there is no doubt that this is going to be a fine Southern rock styled set, with plenty of blues influence, and Jim’s own droning cigar box guitar establishing a low-down dirty mood. Then Mike Finnigan’s Hammond organ comes in and everything moves up another notch. Though Jim is based in Los Angeles, he has been around since the 1970s and this outfit was previously known as The Jack Roberts Harvey Band.. He has a straightforward singing voice, and that is not a criticism, just listen to how effective he can be on ‘Tupelo Fool’. ‘Dog Done Bit My Baby’ is one of those numbers that could only come out of the south, ‘Bayou Beau’ is perhaps the most overt rock track here, with its searing and slightly ethereal slide guitar prominent, and it contrasts well with the slightly Eric Clapton-esque ‘May All Your Regrets Be Small’ (that’s Clapton’s mellow side, of course), led by the accordion playing of multi-instrumentalist guest Nathan Rivera. ‘Gold Train Fever’ and ‘Red Lips And High Heels’ are both rockers, with Finnigan again swelling out the sound. ‘Southern Hospitality’ is a tribute to Jim’s own southern roots and the final two numbers both reference the Mississippi blues, with the closing ‘The Hell Hound’s Due’ also benefitting from the blues harp playing of Felix Flanagan.
A very enjoyable set, this, plenty of original southern rock and blues, very well played and sung, and pretty atmospheric throughout. Recommended.
Jim Roberts has been writing and performing since the Seventies. He took some time off in the Nineties to be a father, and held down a job as police officer for a time. But, as we all know, once the blues is in you, it’s got to come out, and he is back in full-swing with his latest set, for KKP Records, “Beneath The Blood Moon.” Along with his band, The Resonants, listeners are treated to ten cuts that are steeped in blues, boogie, Southern-rock, and, gritty, rocked-up Americana, all punctuated by his gruff vocals and over-the-top slide and cigar-box guitar work.
Good ole Southern-fried blues-rock has always drawn from the myths and legends that are as much a part of this region as the folks themselves. Jim conjures up a healthy dose of ’em throughout this set, too. Everybody knows a girl like the one who “leads the choir in adoration” on Sunday, but, the night before, was on the pole at the local strip club, wearin’ those “Red Lips And High Heels,” in a song dealing with man’s eternal temptation. “Gold Train Fever” recalls an Old West train robber who pays the ultimate price for his wages of sin, and is jacked-up by Jim’s fiery slide. And, be wary of the Spanish moss near old River Road, which just might be a hiding place for ol’ “Bayou Beau,” with “eyes glowin’ red and the head of a toad.”
Our favorites bookended the set. First up, Jim turns that slide a-loose on the story of slaves seeking freedom along the Underground Railroad, following “Big Muddy up to Illinois,” “Beneath The Blood Moon.” And, the set closes down at the Crossroads, with killer acoustic slide, stompin’ percussion, and Felix Flanagan’s mournful harp preachin’ the tale of the deal that went down, and giving “The Hellhound’s Due!”
Jim Roberts And The Resonants combine excellent musicianship with powerful, down-to-earth songcrafting that will, indeed, resonate with a broad audience. “Beneath The Blood Moon” has it all, fans! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.
As an old student of the celestial sciences, I love the fact that Jim Roberts, along with his group collectively known as The Resonants, named their latest album, Beneath The Blood Moon, after an astronomical occurrence. A “Blood Moon” is the name given to the moon, when seen through an eclipse and the earth’s atmosphere and reflected light makes it appear reddish in color.
Of course, it can also refer to those other times when the moon appears to be red, when we tend to believe such times are evil. Those are the dark times when everything seems to go wrong and each shadow has the potential of danger. And in the world of the blues, those times seem to be all around us.
Jim Roberts is an interesting guy. He was doing great things in his early career back in the 1970’s-80’s. He was appearing with some well-known performers and then he walked away in order to concentrate on the most important job anyone can ever undertake, raising a family. He spent years working a straight job, but the desire to perform never really goes away.
Fast forward a few years, he retires from the straight job, picks up his guitar and starts back in. One great thing about roots music, it will always welcome you back if you are ready to give it your heart and soul. Roberts obviously has.
Aside from playing the cigar-box and slide guitars, Roberts wrote seven of the songs solo and the remaining three he co-wrote with some of his musical partners. He’s joined by Mike Harvey on drums and percussion; and Rick Hollander and Tony Jack Grigsby split the bass duties. Special guests include Grant Cihlar on slide guitar for one song; Nathan Rivera on accordion for one song; Felix Flanagan on harmonica for one song; and the ever-busy Mike Finnigan plays Hammond B3 on three songs and piano on one.
Some wicked guitar kicks off the title track, Beneath The Blood Moon. Roberts must have some Southern roots, because the song is steeped in the swamp and creates a very cool picture. The stripped down sound of The Resonants is augmented by Finnigan’s B3 work. Yeah, I think this is going to be a very cool album.
We’re still in the swamp for the next song, Dog Done Bit My Baby, and I have the feeling we’re going to be there more times than not. That’s okay by me. The lyrics are decent and Roberts delivery is spot-on, but it’s the guitar work by him (and also Grant Cihlar on this song) that really sets it apart. There are no fancy frills on these titles, it’s just get down blues through and through.
Next up is Tupelo Fool, a song that adds a little funk to the swamp. It expands the band’s style a little and gives the proceedings a different feel. This one doesn’t rely as heavily on the slide or cigar-box guitar that Roberts likes to employ.
They follow up with Bayou Beau, complete with the sounds of crickets welcoming us to their home. Can you get swampier than that? When Roberts fires up his guitar the song takes off. His voice is gravel rough and you can feel the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees on this one. Very cool song.
Nathan Rivera spices up May All Your Regrets Be Small with some nice accordion. It’s a quiet song, one that moves a little inland from the swamp while still retaining the local flavor. It’s a beautiful ballad, not a traditional blues number but one that relies on some great vocals. A terrific song written by a son who became a father and remembered the best advice he received.
Gold Train Fever starts out slow but begins to build immediately. Roberts’ voice takes on a different sound for the song. It sounds like he’s using a different kind of microphone at first, but when he starts telling the story of a man who feels that the best way he has to take care of his family is by doing something he knows is wrong, his persona changes. There’s a real tension in the song and it’s very cool, not the usual kind of song one hears these days.
Mike Finnigan adds some organ to the next song, Red Lips And High Heels. The organ adds an air of gospel solemnity to the song while Roberts plays against it with his guitar. Finnigan then switches to some barrelhouse piano to make the song swing. There are some interesting choices on this song and it made me sit up and listen to the story to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
Southern Hospitality has got some nice guitar and the lyrics are an expression of one of the south’s best known traits. Being southern is not just a result of geographic location but also of indoctrination. Hospitality is ingrained and for most it’s a true way of life. Others just use the veneer in order to hide the blackness in their heart. Here, Roberts is clearly in the former camp – his roots are showing, and in a good way…
The next song, Dark Down In The Delta, starts off low and with a feel of menace. Sometimes there is danger lurking in the shadows and there are those things in the South that can take a man’s soul. It’s not all waves from the front porch, it’s also the evil in a man’s soul that can strike at a moment’s notice. Great song for creating an uneasy feeling and capturing those things we don’t often like to talk about.
Roberts and company bring the album to a close with The Hell Hound’s Due. We started out in the darkness and with these last two songs, we’ll go out the same way. It’s a great way to bookend the album, evoking one of Robert Johnson’s best known songs while creating a new swampy number to add to the Southern Blues repertoire. It’s a great song, one I hope to hear getting some serious airplay.
Jim Roberts And The Resonants are a breath of fresh swampy air. That may seem like a contradiction if you’ve ever breathed in swamp air, but there’s a feeling in a swamp. Humidity hands in the air and the place seems alive with insects and animals that dare you to invade their world. It can be a harsh place, but also a beautiful one.
Roberts knows both the beauty and the danger and it comes through in his music. He makes great use of his slide guitar and cigar-box guitar to create a mood unlike most other performers I’ve encountered. I like it a lot, but I recognize that it may not be to everyone’s taste. I suggest you head to his website, https://www.jimrobertsandtheresonants.com/, and listen to the song he has posted to see if it’s your cup of moonshine. If you like it as much as I did, hunt down the album at one of the usual outlets and get yourself a copy.
Jim Roberts has had two distinct periods to his music career, divided by 16 years as a police officer and raising a family. Before leaving the music scene he opened for such acts as Ricky Nelson, Della Reese, and Danny O’Keefe. He even made a television appearance on the Mike Douglas Show during the 1980’s.
Today he is firmly entrenched in the blues, who backed by his band The Resonants, has just released his new album Beneath The Blood Moon. He is an excellent slide guitar player but it is his expertise with a three-string cigar box guitar that defines his sound. It gives his sound a more primitive feel, which is an important part of his approach to the blues.
Roberts music is direct and hard-hitting. Songs such as “Dog Done Bit My Baby,” “Gold Train Fever,” “Dark Down The Delta,” and “The Hell Hounds Due” are all energetic excursions in the realm of the blues with some stops in Americana and roots rock.
Jim Roberts has re-invented himself as a first class bluesman. If you like your blues direct and at times raw, then Beneath The Blood Moon is an album for you.
You can walk through different paths in your life but, in the end, if music it's your first love, you will always get back to it, sooner or later. This is exactly what happened to guitarist and singer/songwriter James R. Poggensee, aka Jim Roberts, which in the 90's, after 20-odd years of music activity, to absolve family duties decided to let aside the music and start working as a police officer. But, with time, with the same effect that the irresistible chant of a mermaid would do to humans, back in 2012 Roberts decided to go back to what he really loved doing, a love affair with music lasting for more than four decades and still running. The 2014's album Devil On A Dirt Road, released when the band was still called The Jack Roberts Harvey Band, showed clear signs that the magic in Robert's music was still there, despite the 15-years hiatus from the music business.
Robert's brand new album, called Beneath The Blood Moon and released under a new band name, Jim Roberts And The Resonants, is a definite game changer in Robert's career as a musician. His slide guitar sound is sharper and stronger than ever, his lyrics more personal and inspired, his vocals displaying a growing solidity and maturity in comparison to Robert's last album.
One of the many qualities of Beneath The Blood Moon is the raw and instinctive approach that Roberts and The Resonants have, on this record. Whilst the Southern Rock's sonic matrix is always there and runs solid throughout the album, it's refreshing to notice though the open attitude of Roberts and his band have, to adapt elements of funk, roots, americana and even progressive rock to the collective's musical offer, on this highly entertaining record.
The album title-track, which opens the record too, is pure Jim Roberts through and through. A robust display of foot-stomping rock and rootsy atmospheres is superbly led by Robert's guitar riff, that cuts like a knife into one of the several highlights of the album. Tupelo Fool is an impressive musical immersion into funk territories, with Roberts and The Resonants showing great elegance and class in the delivery of this song. The Resonant's bass player Rick Hollander, in particular, helps to carry the beat with such military precision throughout the song, lifting, through his performance, this tune even further.
Beneath The Blood Moon keeps rising songs after songs, both in terms of quality of the tunes and musical ability as un unstoppable, emotional rollercoaster. May All Your Regrets Be Small is a touching letter in music from father to son, with the use of accordion providing an ulterior lift to an already splendid ballad. Gold Train Fever has got that distinctive ZZ Top flavour, in a tune where blues, roots and rock amalgamate perfectly, thanks also to an extraordinary performance of The Resonant's Mike Finnigan on Hammond
Red Lips And High Heels is, once again, the demonstration of a collective playing with great harmony and synchronicity, with Robert's astonishing ability on guitar once again on full display and Finnigan again, this time both on piano and Hammond, raising the musical temperature higher and higher.
There is still time, on the record, to admire the way that Robert's voice is able to adapt to different music styles with equally brilliant results, from the Southern Rock infused Southern Hospitality to the intriguing, ghostly atmospheres coming from Dark Down In The Delta.
The closing tune of the record, The Hell Hound's Due, is Robert's ultimate signature piece. A truly intense semi-acoustic song, where Robert's vocal skills reach the absolute peak of perfection on the record.
Beneath The Blood Moon is certainly a record to love and cherish, because it is indeed a work of love of a sincere artist and his band of brothers. It's an album that embraces the roots of American music on many levels with great finesse and immediacy at the same time. Most of all, it's a record that reminds us once again how many incredibly talented artists the United States have got, just like Jim Roberts And The Resonants.
Jim Roberts and The Resonants’ latest release, Beneath the Blood Moon(KKP Records), is not their debut album. The band previously recorded and performed as the Jack Roberts Harvey Band and previously released 2014’s Devil On A Dirt Road. Frontman/singer/guitarist Roberts (a.k.a. James R. Poggensee) played guitar, sang, and wrote songs dating back to the ’70s before taking an extended hiatus in the early ’90s to raise a family, working as a police officer until his return to music in 2012.
Despite the name change, the band still includes the “Jack” (bassist Tony Jack Grigsby) and the “Harvey” (drummer Mike Harvey) from the original band, and the three still collaborate with the songwriting and music, though Roberts does the lion’s share. Also participating is bassist Rick Hollander on several tracks, along with appearances from slide guitarist Grant Cihlar, harmonica player Felix Flanagan, and Mike Finnigan, who contributes keyboards on several tunes.
The band’s primary sound is Southern rock, but there’s plenty of blues to be found within these ten tracks, including the opening title track, compliments of Roberts delta-fueled guitar and stomping rhythm. “Dog Done Bit My Baby” is a fine blues rocker with some sharp work on slide guitar from Cihlar, and “Tupelo Fool” is cool and funky. You can feel the humidity and atmosphere on the swampy “Bayou Beau,” and “May All Your Regrets Be Small” is an excellent track, combining blues, roots, and a touch of country (with a nice turn on accordion from Nathan Rivera) in a sweet message from father to son.
“Gold Train Fever” is a powerful track that combines blues, rock, and roots as well as can be done. Finnigan’s B-3 figures prominently on this track, and he shines on B-3 and piano on the lively “Red Lips And High Heels.” “Southern Hospitality” is Southern rock at its finest and so is the moody “Dark Down In The Delta.” “The Hell Hound’s Due,” an intense acoustic country blues that closes the disc.
For Southern rock fans, Beneath The Blood Moon will certainly do the trick, but blues fans will find a lot to savor with Roberts’ intense vocals and slide guitar playing.
--- Graham Clarke