Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs

  • Top Jimmy & the Rhythm Pigs
  • Pigus Drunkus Maximus (Down There/Restless) 1987 

Chris Morris’ LP liner notes characterize Top Jimmy as a legendary live attraction in Los Angeles, a true-blue white bluesman with a wide, star-studded following. (Van Halen wrote and recorded a song about him on 1984; John Doe gives him a tatoo in Decline of Western Civilization.) Regardless of where the burly singer and his crackerjack band (unrelated to the Texas Rhythm Pigs) come from, it’s easy enough to hear where they’re going — straight into the history books, for playing blues and old-fashioned rock’n’roll with more electric panache and gusto than almost anyone else currently on the scene. Covering Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Willie Dixon and Jimi Hendrix with unwavering comprehension and equally enthusiastic sweaty abandon, these no-shit bar-busters turn their debut LP into a resounding lesson on how it’s s’posed to be done. Steve Berlin produced and plays sax; guest star Don Bonebrake (of X) does most of the drumming.

[Ira Robbins]