RNR (Rock & Reel) ★★★★ Sep/Oct 2023
100 YEARS IN THE MAKING: Prolific songwriter and guitarist JC Grimshaw already has seven albums to his name, performing as he does across several genres and in various configurations. His bands encompass the playing of blues, folk, klezmer, jazz, vaudeville, Cajun, Hula and more, with JC turning his hand accordingly to lap guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele.
The new ensemble is a four-piece comprising double bassist Jon Thone, drummer Chris Jones, JC’s son Sol on guitars and JC on a range of stringed instruments. The remit of this project is to play all acoustic, all new material (written by JC and Sol) taking its influence from the last 100 years of jazz in its various guises.
It’s a nice blend of originality and legacy. Guest musicians add welcome additional ingredients. Richard White’s evocative clarinet augments the swing jazz vibe of ‘Never Meant To Be’ and ‘Sweet Annabel.’ I especially enjoyed the trombone contributions of Magnus Hawker French on ‘I’m In The Mood For Love’ and the country-blues tinged ‘Down To The River’.
‘100 Years In The Making’ is laid-back atmospherically, energetic in approach and a respectful bow to the many flavours of the last century’s jazz music. It’s deserves considerable airplay. (Colin Bailey)
Maverick Magazine ★★★★★
FOR WHAT YOU SEEK dives straight in with an upbeat Calypso – ‘Blue Rooster Blues.’ Not only is this track a musical masterpiece, but it also tells a majestic story. The 11 track album is filled with raw talent, so drenched with imagery, passion and variety, it would be difficult to find any undoings. Every track on it is a gem, that provides the listener with a different atmosphere and mood. For instance, ‘Turtle Dove Don’t Fly Away’ is a country lament that has a familiar southern charm to it, complimented by some hula-style guitar giving it a Polynesian aura. In contrast, ‘Time Don’t Wait’ has a much more epic, building since to it, that would sound at home in a stylish Tarantino flick. If you’re thirsting for an adventure, provided by great lyricism and musical mastery, pick up this piece of gold from JC Grimshaw.
Concerto Magazine ★★★★★
This man reminds us more and more of Nick Cave. He sings from the darkest, blackest, most bluesy corners, and pulls off an impressive show here on various slide and lap guitars. Anyone standing in front of the combo and it’s perceptive front man, will take themselves off in their imagination to New Orleans/Louisiana or Tucson/Alabama in order to listen to an exciting piece from this guitar and string virtuoso with a remarkable voice and sympathetic band behind him. Originality, musicality and creativity are combined here to create an impressive whole.
Banbury Blues Festival
J.C. is an amazingly talented musician and plays various guitars, mandolin and harp. He has a wide range of influences (Country, jazz, blues, etc.) but has his own distinctive sound and writes some really haunting songs of his own.
Personal favourites include Honey Man and Show Some Kindness, both of which featured here. Despite the competition elsewhere in the building, the room was packed and the audience went away happy. As an acoustic duo, J.C. (and Angelina) are unmatched.
Manx Blues Festival
J.C. Grimshaw is both a fine songwriter and instrumentalist. His playing on various guitars, slide and mandolin is fired by such diverse influences as Blind Willie McTell and Django Reinhardt.
He is simply a delight to hear.
J.C. comes into his own on ukulele (resophonic) and proves he has to be the best exponent of hula slide this side of the Atlantic. His outstanding displays of virtuoso playing elicit a fantastic response from the audience.
Quay Arts Centre
J.C. and the Supernumeraries
A self-taught genius of guitar, mandolin, harmonica and Ukelele, it is with good reason that JC Grimshaw is a familiar face on the Island music scene. His exceptional musicianship and unique vision captivate audiences and have won him international renown.
J.C. Grimshaw’s latest album is now available.