Album Review of
Warm Me Up

Written by Joe Ross
October 7, 2021 - 6:22pm EDT
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The Oregon-based Jimmy Haggard Band, with their charged up good-time voltage, keeps vintage blues sounds relevant with here-and-now freshness. Guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Haggard is joined by Doug Outt (bass), Martin Buckson (drums) and Chris Kliemann (piano, organ).  A road-wise bluesman, Haggard established himself in Los Angeles for 20 years, then took his rocking honky-tonk blues to Raleigh, N.C. for 10 years, before settling into Eugene, Ore. His fifth album, Warm Me Up, features a solid blues quartet. Fretless bassist Doug Outt was a regular on the Los Angeles club circuit before spending the last three decades in several Oregon bands. Drummer Martin Buckson has Chicago roots, relocated to South Carolina in 1983, then moved to Oregon in 2004. Veteran Keyboardist Chris Kliemann is out of the Seattle blues scene but hails from Oregon’s Southern Willamette Valley, and he shines on a song like “Before I Had You.”

Together, their undeniable groove is soulful and smart as they navigate their burning blues from various emotional angles. While their sublime bar-band mojo on numbers like “Warm Me Up” and “Boogie ‘til We’re Free” might’ve benefited from some guest artists laying down tracks on harmonica or saxophone, the Jimmy Haggard Band’s charm and good timey atmosphere come through loud and clear on this badass set of eight roadhouse-ready romps. Album standouts include “Goodbye Old Friend,” “Born in a Backyard,” and “Life is for Living.” (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)