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Jimmy Thackery Showcases Songwriting, Guitar Playing Skills on 'Solid Ice'

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Who says Washington, D.C. isn't a blues town? For more than 30 years, Washington's premier blues band, The Nighthawks, has given the nation's capital a reputation as a thriving blues capital. From The Nighthawks came singer and guitarist Jimmy Thackery, who as VOA's Doug Levine tells us, has made a name for himself outside the band and well-beyond the city limits.

Jimmy Thackery says he left The Nighthawks because he needed a break from the group's grueling tour schedule. Slowing down was the last thing on his mind, however. After 14 years with The Nighthawks, he launched a six-piece R&B ensemble called The Assassins, and was back on the road. He recorded three albums with The Assassins before scaling back to a trio in 1991.

Jimmy Thackery's current group, The Drivers, is the perfect vehicle for showcasing Thackery's insightful songwriting and fine-tuned guitar playing. On their latest album, Solid Ice, the trio moves effortlessly from blues-rock to soulful jazz.

Taking six months off from touring was all Thackery needed to rejuvenate himself and write new songs for the album.

"This was music that came as an inspiration to me, not groundbreaking, but heartfelt and sincere," he says.

It may not be groundbreaking, but Solid Ice gets your attention. From powerhouse instrumentals, an acoustic ballad and honky-tonk blues, to an instrumental tribute to Thackery's biggest influence, Jimi Hendrix on Hendrix's Who Knows, the album marks a fresh start for one of blues music's most tireless performers.

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