Review: Jim Keller – Daylight


Jim Keller – Daylight 2


Jim Keller – Daylight
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Continental Song City – Continental Record Services
Release: 2024

Text: Bert van Kessel

After being successful with Tommy Tutone, Jim Keller took a break from active musicianship. He returned with a bang on the international music scene with the overwhelming ‘By No Means’ which he made in 2021 with renowned producer Mitchell Froom and equally renowned sidekick David Hidalgo. He made its impressive successor ‘Spark And Flame’ with New York pals in 2022.

Now he has returned to his partnership with Froom and Hidalgo for the second instalment of what is going to be a trilogy. Part three is scheduled for 2025.

Bob Glaub and Michael Urbano are his trusted rhythm section on bass and drums/percussion respectively. And with time they have been able to further perfect that seemingly simple but in fact sophisticated sound.

Again Jim Keller’s spare and straightforward style is characterised by austerity and sobriety, reminiscent of Ray Bonneville, Chuck E. Weiss and sometimes J.J. Cale. His dark vocals are as pervasive as ever and most notably so on the stunning love songs Mighty Love and If You Love Me.

This is by no means a sad album, though. The twelve short tracks are a well-balanced collection of superbly-crafted vignettes, both happy and sad. Jim Keller’s convincing vocals fit them both.

The opening track and title song is a happy ditty around the cheerful theme of “Carpe Diem”. It is followed by the dark and menacing Trouble High, Trouble Low.

The powerful Walkin’ is a song of perseverance, leading up to a threesome of uptempo, happy tunes including the infectious single She’s The One with a lovely funky guitar by David Hidalgo.

On prize number Closer To Nowhere he adds some amazingly subtle guitar. Froom and Hidalgo have the dark Bungalow Road bathing in a Kiko-esque soundscape.

It’s good to realize that after this stunning part two of the trilogy there is at least one more like it in the pipeline.

01. Daylight
02. Trouble High, Trouble Low
03. Walkin’
04. She’s The One
05. Pebble In My Shoe
06. I Like It Like That
07. Mighty Love
08. I Can’t Stand A Day Without You
09. Closer To Nowhere
10. Oh Yeah
11. Bungalow Road
12. If You Love Me

Jim Keller: Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
David Hidalgo: Guitars and Backing Vocals
Mitchell Froom: Keyboard
Bob Glaub: Bass
Michael Urbano: Drums and Persussion