Stevie and Alan Nimmo, as The Nimmo Brothers, from Glasgow, Scotland have proved themselves to be one of the most respected exponents of modern blues the UK has seen since the blues boom of the 1960’s. Firstly in the guise of The Blackwater Blues Band with their debut album ‘Breaking out the Blues’ showcasing an incredible energy and talent in ones so young; Alan was just 19 at the time!
1998 saw the first Nimmo Brothers album ‘Moving On’ with a more varied collection of songs than their previous offering, giving an insight into the strength and power of the Nimmo Brothers arrangements yet to come. Come they did in 2001 with ‘Coming Your Way’, marking the beginning of a hugely successful relationship with Armadillo Music. This album not only captured the true spirit and energy of the Nimmo Brothers but also showed a level of song writing maturity. It was with this batch of songs that the Nimmo Brothers found themselves catapulted to the forefront of the British and European blues scenes – winning best UK blues album and best UK blues band at the 2002 British Blues Connection Awards - as well as headlining festivals and leaving sold out signs in the windows of clubs throughout the UK and Europe.
2003 was time for a change of pace and the brothers achieved this with their acoustic album ‘New Moon over Memphis’; a beautiful and highly emotional recording which focused on the vocal and song writing talents of The Nimmo Brothers. When they first showcased this new material at the Low County Blues Bash in Charleston, South Carolina they were given two consecutive standing ovations by the audience, who were genuinely moved by the power and honesty of the songs they heard. One observer was the US blues artist Debbie Davis who immediately invited the guys to join her on stage that night at her own show.
In 2006, after a period where the brothers had concentrated on various solo projects, Armadillo released their ‘Live’ album; recorded in 2003, at The Cottiers Theatre, in their home town of Glasgow. The Nimmo Brothers were back with a bombardment of new killer songs, touring the ‘Live’ album with dates in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
In 2009 The Nimmo’s dusted down their amps and hauled out their treasured Les Pauls and Strat’s to promote ‘Picking up the Pieces’ and once again become THE BAND to be reckoned with on the blues scene. Musically stunning, they never fail to impress audience after audience with their show.
So with seventeen years performing together and five successful CD releases behind them, Stevie and Alan Nimmo, The Nimmo Brothers, are back to their roots with the new CD, 'Brother to Brother'. Arguably they have written their best songs to date, influenced by "everything we’ve ever listened to over the past 20 years". Recorded in Austin, Texas, with Jamie Oldaker (Eric Clapton) on drums; Michael Ramos (Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Paul Simon and Los Lonely Boys) on Hammond organ; Bill Whitbeck (Robert Earl Keen) and Jimmy Pettit (Joe Ely Band) on bass guitar. There is something for every rock fan in their original material as well as a couple of handpicked covers.
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If you are old enough to have enjoyed late 60s British blues-rockers FREE first time around, you’ll most likely love this; if you’re too young, I envy you the opportunity to discover some of the most soulful blues-rock around these days. Not that brothers Steve and Alan Nimmo, from Glasgow, are derivative, they just – “just”, he says – seem to have a complete understanding of what drove that era, and an ability to translate that to a modern environment. Yes, they do an exemplary cover of Free’s 1973 hit, ‘Wishing Well’, but they can also conjure up the sound of the George Harrison / Eric Clapton collaboration (‘King And Country’) some of the harder rockers of the early 70s – do I hear a touch of Black Sabbath in there? Yes! – and surprisingly, given that this set was recorded in Austin, Texas with local musicians, just a small American influence, with nice acoustic, dobro and slide on ‘Sneaking Up On You’. What surprised me most though was the (very successful) early 80s approach of ‘For You’, but the album closes out with a superb roadhouse-rocking rendition of Marc Benno’s ‘Shape I’m In’. May these guys rock for another 17 years – at least!
Wer gleich im ersten Albumtrack derartig den Blues-Rock Dampfhammer auspackt, darf sich bei solch einem Gitarren-Riff und solch fetten Vocals nicht wundern, wenn man ihn mit GOV'T MULE assoziiert. Die NIMMO BROTHERS, ursprünglich aus Schottland, aktuell in Texas tätig, tun gut daran, sich nur nach den besten Vorbildern zu richten.
Die Gebrüder Stevie und Alan Nimmo, die sich im Zuge ihres neuen Albums "Brother To Brother" die Vocals und die Gitarrenarbeit paritätisch aufteilen, geben mit der Auswahl ihrer Coversongs einen weiteren Hinweis auf ihre musikalischen Vorlieben. Wer sich also des guten alten FREE Songs Wishing Well annimmt und im eigenen Never gonna walk on me gleich noch Paul Kossoffs Mr. Big Akkorde verwertet, gibt genügend Anhaltspunkte, wie es um die Interessenlage der Musiker bestellt ist. Wer es zudem schafft, sich mit einem arrivierten Drummer wie Jamie Oldaker zu verbändeln und für die Hammond B3 Einschübe einen Mann wie Michael Ramos zu verpflichten, weckt beim Hörer genau die richtigen Begehrlichkeiten.
Die Nimmos staffieren ihre traditionellen und lieb gewonnenen Blues-Rock Streifzüge mit fetten und stark verzerrten Gitarren aus, wissen damit ebenso zu gefallen, wie mit ihrer an alten Lynyrd Skynyrd Krachern geschulten Nummer Sneaking up on you oder dem mit gemäßigten Pop-Strukturen liebäugelnden Radiofutter à la For you. Und wer sich mit einem treibenden und zündenden Boogie wie ARC ANGELS' Shape I'm in verabschiedet, beweist Geschmack und hat es mit so einem runden und glücklich machenden Album mehr als verdient, ein offenens Ohr bei Blues- und Southern Rockern zu finden.
"Brother To Brother" will especially appeal to fans of the harder blues rock, where they form the double-layered guitars do, but there is still subtle enough to appeal to a wider audience.
The Schotse Nimmo Brothers zijn ondertussen hier in de lage landen al volop bekend, de broers Stevie & Allan traden er immers al meermaals op. Hun stevige bluesrock deed al meermaals Belgische en Nederlandse podia daveren en ook Allan's band King King was vorig jaar nog te bewonderen op het BRBF festival te Peer.
Wat onmiddellijk opvalt bij de eerste beluistering is het hoge Free gehalte van de plaat. Niet alleen coveren ze op voortreffelijke wijze hun "Wishing Well", ook een eigen nummer als "Never gonna Walk On Me" heeft een riff die Paul Kossoff wel zou liggen. Alles klinkt wat steviger en hedendaagser dan in die dagen, zodat ook vergelijkingen met een groep als Gov't Mule zich opdringen. Des te meer omdat naast de gitaren ook het prachtige stemgeluid van de broers wat in die richting gaat van zangers als Paul Rodgers en Warren Haynes . Een andere goed gekozen cover is "Shape I'm In " van Marc Benno, ooit samen geschreven met (vader en zoon) Doyle Bramhall I en II, dat zoals op vrijwel iedere voorgaande Nimmo Brothers cd, ook hier zorgt voor de nodige Texaanse invloeden.
Het geheel werd bovendien opgenomen in Austin, Texas met gasten als de legendarische "Okie" Jamie Oldaker, ooit drummer bij onder meer Eric Clapton en J.J Cale, en Michael Ramos (Robert Plant, John Mellencamp, Paul Simon en Los Lonely Boys) op Hammond orgel. Een misschien wat minder bekende gast is Jimmy Pettit, bassist bij onder meer Joe Ely en John Campbell en door wie we in april 2009 nog aangenaam verrast werden met de uitstekende solo-cd "Vegas Hotel".
"Brother To Brother" zal vooral de fan van de hardere bluesrock aanspreken, daar zorgen de dubbel gelaagde gitaren wel voor, maar toch is er nog genoeg subtiliteit om ook een breder publiek te bekoren.
This latest Nimmo Brothers gem, arguably their best ever album, was recorded in Austin, Texas. The brothers are backed by Hammond B3 players, Michael Ramos and Sebastien Vaivrand, bass guitarists Bill Whitbeck and Jimmy Pettit, and Jamie Oldaker on drums. Alan Nimmo also plays bass guitar on one track and drums on another.
The album comprises twelve tracks, all but two original compositions. It opens with three typically-Nimmo steady-rockers, ‘Still Here Strumming’, ‘Lady Luck’, and the Free-influenced ‘Coming Round Again’. The gently lyrical ‘Sneaking up on you’ calms the mood in advance of the slow burning ‘Never Gonna Walk on Me’, which is an absolute belter, with more than a hint of Jon Amor about it.
The mood is slowed by the somewhat plaintive ‘Waiting for My Heart to Fall’, on which the brothers alternative lead vocals, and the introspective ‘All I Need Inside’.
There follows a terrific version of Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ and a cracking rendition of the Benno/Bramhall upbeat rocker ‘Shape I’m In’.
This album is rich in top class vocals and superlative guitar work shared throughout by the hugely talented siblings. It is already vying for my album of the year and is a must-buy for all blues-rock fans.
Long acknowledged as one of the UK’s premier live acts The Nimmo Brothers seemed to struggle for years to capture their hallmark twin guitar tour-de-force adequately on CD. Although 2009’s ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ seemed to finally address the problem, subsequent plays revealed a sag in the middle, with inconsistent material and a production quality that still wasn’t quite there, blunting its overall impact. This time around they really do seem to have nailed it. Decamping to The Zone studios in Austin, Texas, where Pat Manske moves up from engineering to production duties, and the recruitment of a team of seasoned pro sidemen has rounded out the sound, helped retain the necessary clarity but brought in a previously unattained depth.
The three-year interregnum hasn’t been squandered either, the Glaswegians having turned in some of their best songs to date. Everywhere the guitars soar, and the brother’s voices take on an added maturity, less urgent and more resonant than we’ve heard before, and best evidenced in the opening salvo of ‘Still Here Strumming’ and ‘Lady Luck’ which states terms immediately; this is heavy, in-your-face gutsy blues which stands its ground but refuses to compromise on finesse. There’s plenty of variety though: the slide-driven ‘Sneaking Up On You’ has an authentic Southern feel and could keep company with the Black Crowes’ finest, and the steady paced ‘Never Gonna Walk On Me’ has touches of Led Zep in full stomp mode which should guarantee it a warm reception on stage. This time around there’s no mid-set lull, courtesy of the smouldering ‘Waiting for my Heart to Fall’ which teases, then gathers pace, before finally bursting open in a manner that will be familiar to anyone who knows the Nimmos of old. A fine cover of ‘Wishing Well’ sets up an assured run-out culminating in Doyle Bramhall’s excellent ‘Shape I’m In’, concluding a collection the band should deservedly be pleased with.
Brother To Brother is the latest release from The Nimmo Brothers. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, The Nimmo Brothers have been around the blues rock scene for over 15 years. Their chemistry and experience show through in spades on Brother To Brother.
The album opens with a rocker, “Still Here Strumming,” and right away you know you’re in for something great. Brother To Brother continues to rock right on into “Lady Luck,” which features great vocals and soloing in what is a definite album highlight. The vocals are fantastic throughout with phrasing at times reminiscent of greats like Paul Rodgers and Warren Haynes. Haynes seems to be an influence on The Nimmo Brothers as “Never Walk On Me” features a riff that would fit great on a Gov’t Mule album. It’s also obvious Free is a major influence on the band as Brother To Brother even includes a cover of “Wishing Well.” It’s nice to hear a modern recording of a 40-year-old song.
Having been around as long as The Nimmo Brothers have it’s a bit puzzling why they aren’t more well known. Brother To Brother has it all with great hooks, incredible playing, and most importantly great songs. It is an impressive release that can not only be appreciated by blues rock fans, but a wider audience as well. The Nimmo Brothers have proven they are one of top blues rock acts today.
The Review: 9/10
Can’t Miss Tracks: Still Here Strumming, Lady Luck, Coming Around Again, For You, King And Country
The Big Hit: Lady Luck close
The Nimmo Brothers have been playing together for over 18 years and 'Brother to Brother', their sixth album, reaffirms their musical connection with Texas Blues, with a big sound, lashings of guitar and 9 self penned songs, one co-write and two rather obvious covers. And in temporarily shifting their Glaswegian soul to their spiritual home in Austin Texas, they have surrounded themselves with a stellar line-up of helping hands with Jamie Oldaker (Eric Clapton) on drums; Michael Ramos (Los Lonely Boys) on Hammond organ; Bill Whitbeck (Robert Earl Keen) and Jimmy Pettit (Joe Ely Band) on bass guitar. But while the 'A' team works up some real intensity and heartfelt emotion, it's the quality of the songs that remains pivotal, topped by Stevie's impressive vocals and Alan's fiery leads.
The album title takes its name from a line in the funky opener 'Still Strumming', which sends out a lyrical message of naked defiance, which all but acts as the central theme to the album; 'When then the chips are down and there ain't no other, still here strumming, 'Brother to Brother', I don't care what the new kids play, stand up and we all know that they ain't got much to say'
It's an autobiographical song but delivered with a Texas feel and real swagger as the two brothers go head to head in the company of Austin's finest.
As always, there's an underlying tension to the brothers music, not a competitive edge as you might imagine, but a slight difference of musical emphasis with Alan's penchant for rocking counter-balanced by Stevie intuitive feel for all things Americana. As it is Stevie matches every lick Alan throws at him and brings real feel and angst to 'Lady Luck' as the two scorching guitarists search out every sonic possibility the studio offers them. It's a powerful song with a Paul Rogers feel, a fact that might explain the later cover of 'Wishing Well'. There's also a noticeable heavier distorted tone to the guitars which sends out a message that they are here to nail the licks, explore the grooves and make the most of the feverish riffs of 'Lady Luck' and the chanted hook of 'Coming Around Again'.
With one eye on dynamics and sequencing, the album slips into rock ballad territory as Stevie's musical partner Sebastien Vaivrand adds cool organ on the stop-time 'For You', which is prime FM radio fare. The slide led 'Sneaking On' again features Stevie on vocals, on another big arrangement that is full of burning slide, stop-start verse and a booming chorus, while 'Never Gonna Walk On Me' is probably the heaviest Nimmo's offering yet with pounding repeated dirgy riffs.
It's also the perfect prequel to 'Living Again' the stand out track on the album. The rock solid groove and wall of sound is the perfect foil for the descending slide guitar motif and indefatigable lyrics delivered with real depth; 'I'm not afraid of dying but I'm afraid of being dead'. If you ever wanted snap shot of what this band is about, look no further than this uplifting, pile driving rock-blues workout. In fact, aside from many heartfelt lyrics, this is a very American sounding album with big arrangements, and distorted guitar tones. It's a much heavier album that the previous 'Picking Up The Pieces' but still has the quality control to remain a step ahead of the posse.
'Waiting For My Heart To Fall' is a sweeping ballad and there's still time for some perfectly judged slide and Americana on 'King And Country' - a distant cousin of their previous 'A Better Day' - before a curiously laid back cover of 'Shape I'm In'.
And although 'Brother To Brother' is a successful realisation of the band's American dream, the guitar driven, dirt in the tracks burning intensity still bears their unique Caledonian imprint.
SENSATIONAL blues rockers The Nimmo Brothers were in tremendous form for their annual visit to Cranleigh Arts centre on October 17.
Word has been spreading about how good these guys and the venue was fuller than it’s ever been for the Glaswegian brothers’ gig.
Aided and abetted by ace of the bass Matt Beable and cracking new drummer Craig Blundell, they went straight for the jugular with a storming version of All Because of you, the opening track from their fine new album on the Armadillo Music label, Picking Up The Pieces.
Another song from the new album, Nothing In Chicago For Free, followed before they launched into the slow-burning old favourite Long Way From Everything.
Stevie and Alan Nimmo share the guitar and vocal duties and delight in trading coruscating licks at full speed and as loud as it can get but they also know how to slow things down, writing every last drop of emotion out of guitar and song.
The set proper ended on a high with the authentic A Better Day, another one from the new disc but previewed at last year’s gig, before returning for a rousing finale with one of their earliest songs, the hard driving blues of Black Cat Bone.
It’s been out for a while but I finally got a copy of this on the strength of their live performances which are just as intense and full on as Rock/Blues can be. The audience response at each of the Nimmo Bothers concerts tell you all you need to know about a twin guitar led, twin vocal attack and hatful of rock blues songs that bristle with feel, energy and unrestrained rocking blues power from the brothers Steve and Alan and the fine rhythm section of Mat Beable (bass) and former Hoax/Danny Bryant drummer Dave Raeburn.
This album is probably the best Texas Rock/Blues album never to come out of Texas! Hailing from Scotland in fact, the Nimmo Brothers open with the riff driven ‘All Because of You’ and hit the heights with the magnificent hard driving ‘Nothing in Chicago For Free’. The Nimmo Brothers are easily the most exciting rock/blues band to come out of the British Isles for years and this album proves it conclusively!
Glasgow's nimmo Brothers' Coming Your Way was our readers' choice Album of 2001; the band were also named Blues rock Band of the Year. this 71-minute live set was recorded in front of an enthusiastic hometown crowd, at the 1st West End Jazz & Blues Festival at the Cottier’s Theatre the same year.
Six of the brothers’ originals from Coming Your Way are here along with covers of “The Thrill is Gone”, “Help Me”, “So Many roads”, and Peter Green’s “Watch Out”. Sassenachs Lindsay Coulson (bass) and Mark Barrett (drums) provided the ideal framework for the brothers’ powerful vocals and incendiary guitar work- the guitars are mixed on either channel, with Alan’s often effects enhanced instrument on the left. Frazier Spiers added welcome harp on the ‘chunka chunka’ shuffle “Flat Broke”.
Twelve bars dominate the repertoire – none of that namby pamby AOR stuff that is sometimes marketed as blues rock here! Along with the ‘Glasgow kiss’ styled blues are subtler numbers, such as “Moving On” where they swap their Strats for electro-acoustics. The minor-keyed reading of “So Many Roads” is so many choruses, so many minutes (14+) and the quiet segment is almost inaudible at full volume on my walkman. The ballard, “If I Could See Through Your Eyes” however, comes in slightly shorter than the original recording. The Nimmos many fans will want this in memory of their live shows and any fan of post-Vaughanist guitar-led power blues will find this recorded set to their taste.
The Nimmo Brothers play their hometown on this recording of their appearance at the 1st West End Blues Festival, May 2001. They open with the self-penned She's All Mine. This is Rory Gallagher style blues rock with stinging guitars from the brothers Stevie and Alan and a driving beat from bassist Lindsay Coulson and drummer Mark Barrett. I'll Be Back Someday is a swinging blues and shows how stunning a live act these boys are. The third self-written track in a row is the slower Long Way From Everything and although they have slowed the pace down they still produce the now signature searing guitars.
The first of four covers is So Many Roads and they keep the speed down for this too. This is a true blues song and although the guitar introduction is a bit long, it is well worth the wait for the excellent vocal. It's always a risk covering a song that is instantly associated to another artist and the brothers certainly meet that risk head on with The Thrill Is Gone. They've funked it up a bit, made the guitars grittier and it works because they haven't tried to sound like B.B. King. Returning to their own songs for Flat Broke and Moving On they hit a rich vein of form. Flat Broke is a stomping blues with the excellent Fraser Spiers on harmonica and the acoustic-led Moving On is one of the highlights of the set. This has to be the vocal performance of the album.
Watch Out is a Peter Green song and they show their professionalism once again. The guitar playing is some of the best that I have heard recently and believe me, I've heard a lot! The last of the self-written songs is If I Could See Through Your Eyes and this shows their versatility with the boys turning in a power ballad with a strong finish. They finish up with the Sonny Boy Williamson/Willie Dixon song, Help Me and it's a tremendous close to an excellent set. I've only got two questions, why aren't the Nimmo Brothers household names and why has it taken so long to release this performance?
Glasgow, Scotland’s Nimmo brothers have climbed to the top of the contempo-blues heap in the UK. Their hard hittin’ scratchin’ and clawin’ power blues is based on the brothers double guitar attack and double action on their vocal mike. Talented additionally to write all ten of these slabs; no guarantee, but the young pair may be headed toward some serious popularity outside the Isles and across the pond.
The Brothers’ axes and vocals are hard to tell apart, but it looks and sounds as each is working out on Fender axes. The quartet is completed with the beat of drummer Mark Barrett, and the bottom from bassist Sam Firth. Moving like clockwork through their paces, executions and deliveries fall rightly together.
“She’s All Mine” slices into the set with hellbent guitar phrasings and an even harder rhythm. A decided swing shuffle beat comes to “She Fills My Cup”. Then a funkier pop-rock attitude comes out on the self-pitying “Long Way From Everything”, until it bleeds into guitar solo in its over seven minute length. The six minute “AlI I Want” takes a slow blues grind with haunting vocals and clear, stabbing guitar action. Like “If I Could See Through Your Eyes” the long stretch blues jam comes through with flying colored results. Ample but simple instrumentation, and readily accessible lyrics keep the music easy flowin’.
They take the reins at a harder charge with rockin’ cuts like “Live For Another Day”. Across the breadth of this disc, The Nimmo Brothers ply a rock-oriented blues repertoire and the boys double hard hitting axe attacks will give no quarter. This is hot blues rock, styled with a flair and passion not seen since the early days of the classic rock era. Fine tuned ears will agree ... tough rock and blues with a hint of jump/swing.
This CD is the long-awaited sequel to 1998’’s Moving On. It comprises ten original numbers and provides a wonderful showcase for the exceptional talents of the Nimmo Brothers.
The album explodes with “She’s All Mine”, the number that the band currently uses to open most of their gigs. It exudes a compelling, driving rhythm, which defies resistance and sets the pulse surging. However, there is a splendid balance of moods and tempo on the CD. The hard edge of the band’s rocking blues image is admirably contrasted with sensitive and philosophical ballads.
“She Fills My Cup” and “I’ll Be Back Someday” are foot-tapping shuffles, featuring some great bass lines from Sam firth. “Long way From everything” and “If I Could See through Your eyes”, on the other hand are slow, mellow and soulful-blues-ballads of the highest quality. “Coming your way” and “Live For Another Day” share relentless, infectious beat, which give full vent to the excellent skills of drummer Mark Barrett. Finally, the CD ends with another magnificent slow ballard “You’re The Reason”, accompanied by an acoustic guitar.
The rhythm section of Mark Barrett on drums and Sam Firth on bass provides the perfect backdrop to the vocal and instrumental brilliance of Stevie and Alan Nimmo. This CD will gladden the hearts of the rapidly growing coterie of Nimmo brother fans.
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