Texas singer songwriter Jim Wyly is back with another soul-stirring track from his “The Artisan” album. Over 40 years deep into his craft, the Austin troubadour sounds like a home-cooked meal. He deals out comfort food for the head, heart, and soul. All of this serves his finely drawn guitar lines, bourbon-stained-like vocals, and funky acoustic-driven grooves as thick as molasses. A subtle blend of blues, country, folk and southern rock runs right down the middle of “You Took Me”.
“Musicians’ musician” is an overused term. Why wouldn’t anyone with two good ears appreciate Jim Wyly? As Jim doesn’t cater to the mainstream hordes, popular opinion may never lift his current status – but most of my musician friends are particularly emphatic about the man’s artistry.
That’s because Wyly’s songs offer something for an aspiring songwriter/guitarist to admire, whether a sneaky turn-of-phrase a stunning lick or a sweet groove. All of which are present on “You Took Me”.
Jim Wyly’s relaxed but precise sound, the devotion to his trademark folk-blues shuffle, and the seemingly effortless atmosphere of his voice and grooves invade the entire arrangement on “You Took Me”. It’s rhythmically tight, it’s warm and edgy.
It’s the sound of someone doing what they love, and being damn good at it. It feels like a track created by an artist, not something produced by a machine or by some marketing committee. There’s excellence at any end of the spectrum you care to analyze — and everywhere in between.
What Jim Wyly does best on “You Took Me”, is finding the melody in the groove and running with it. Driven by the sparkly acoustic-guitar strums, the rhythm pumps down the road with a restrained, but high-octane swing, as Wyly narrates his tale of freshly awoken passion.
The song’s melody is so effortless, it is easy to surrender to it and let the singer-songwriter take the wheel, leaving you to settle into the whirlwind journey.
Listening to the jangling guitar feels like looking up into the night sky and getting lost in the stars after a day on the highway. Jim Wyly makes you gaze into the abyss with curiosity and a willingness to hear where his story will take you.
As unpretentious as he may appear on the surface, a single trek through any of Wyly’s songs is bound to reveal an artist who is deeply involved and meticulous, one who probably releases a song only when he feels it is ready.
Wyly always seems to be content with making music on his own terms, and the organic textures of “You Took Me” testify to his continued individuality as well as his unique talent.
If you don’t know Jim Wyly’s work, jump on this one for some rocking-chair-on-the-porch folk-blues, some groovy shuffling sweetness, an inspiring tale, and a bit of grit added in for texture.