JIMMIE VAN ZANT – Feels Like Freedom (2012)
JIMMIE VAN ZANT is the younger of the Van Zant family who has been touring the U.S. for years spreading the music that made this dynasty into the American legends they are today.
“Feels Like Freedom” is his fourth album and surely the best in Jimmie’s discography
At the beginning of his career in the late nineties, Jimmie was accused for make a living as musician usufructing his famous surname, but the truth is the man has talent.
Although Jimmie’s white-hot vocals pay homage to the incredible music legacy paved by his cousins Ronnie (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Johnny (.38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Zant), and Donnie (.38 Special, Van Zant), he has opted to a more organinc style in his music since his early days.
Yes, musically it is influenced by classic Southern rock, but he adds to the mix some Americana, country rock and even FM Rock. The difference with his cousins bands lies as well in the sonic treatment of his songs, more melodic and crisp, all clocking in a strict three / four minute.
For “Feels Like Freedom” Van Zant has surrounded himself with the cream of Nashville session players and songwriters. It’s a symbiotic and really well rounded combination where the singer stays true to his roots but enriched by new sounds.
Perhaps Van Zant’s biggest strength lies in his storytelling.
When addressing wanderlust and leaving the past in “Chasing Shadows” he puts himself in the first person. And the manner in which he shifts from tales of outlaw rockers to depictions of an alcohol-ravaged marriage shows empathic range.
The song sequence has been cleverly chosen. Full-throttle rockers are interspersed with ballads and mid-tempo tunes with taste.
All are good and enjoyable, but title track “Feels Like Freedom” is a winner, an anthemic rocker full of energy and class playing.
“Feels Like Freedom” is a really nice album of pure American rock.
It’s very well composed and crisply produced with superb musicians at service of the music, while Jimmie’s strong performances infuses each song with heavy emotional weight. And like some skilled method actor, he makes each word spring off the page.
01 – Chasing Shadows
02 – Ain’t Quite Mary Jane
03 – Wildest Branch
04 – When You Gonna Learn
05 – Feels Like Freedom
06 – That’ll Take You Back
07 – Southern Rock
08 – Unfinished Life
09 – Runaway Train
10 – Come On Man
11 – Stronger Stuff
Jimmie Van Zant (vocals)
Rob McNelly (electric guitar)
Dave Daniels Camarda (electric guitar)
Kent Wells (electric guitar)
Steve Hinson (electric guitar, steel guitar, background vocals)
Kent Wells (acoustic guitar, programming)
Gary Smith (keyboards)
Mike Brignardello (bass)
Nick Buda (drums, percussion)
Christine Winslow (background vocals)
BUY IT !