Jimmy Carpenter 2014 Update

The last 2 years have been very good to Jimmy Carpenter!! 

In addition to his work as bandleader and horn arranger with New Orleans icon Walter Wolfman Washington and The Roadmasters, he has embarked on a very exciting project with Mike Zito and The Wheel, recording 2 albums (Gone to Texas and the just-released Live CD/DVD, Songs From the Road, on Ruf Records). He was nominated in 2014 for Best Instrumentalist/Horn by the Blues Foundation, and he has just released his 2nd solo album, Walk Away, on Vizztone. Keeping up a steady international touring schedule, he has appeared as Special Guest Artist on several major festivals this year, including Paulie's New Orleans Jazz and Blues Festival, Worcester, MA; Blues from The Top, in Winter Park, CO; Blues to Bop in Lugano, Switzerland, and The BIg Blues Bender, Las Vegas. He is also ramping up his own band's presence, doing multiple shows in New Orleans this fall, and producing and headlining the long-running MNOP Festival (Music of New Orleans Perigueux), in Perigueux, France. All this in advance of hitting the road with Mike Zito this October/November, to promote their Ruf Records releases in the U.S. and Europe.

"Walk Away is a great second effort, beautifully produced and backed by an outstanding array of New Orleans musicians. Carpenter titled his first release Toiling in Obscurity. But with the work he's put in and the skills he exhibits here, that description no longer applies. Jimmy Carpenter is finally out front, in the spotlight where he belongs."

"Carpenter's duet with Reba Russell on the closer, “Fellow Traveler” is stunning."

Grant Britt, No Depression.com



Jimmy Carpenter has made a living playing music for more than 25 years. Since relocating to New Orleans in early 2004 he has contributed to numerous major label and local recordings, including Eric Lindell's newest release on Alligator Records, Gulf Coast HighwayWalter “Wolfman” Washington’s Doin’ The Funky Thing, and Honey Island Swamp Band's Wishing Well, on all of which he wrote and performed the horn arrangements. He released his debut solo CD Toiling in Obscurity in December of 2008, which continues to receive heavy airplay on world famous WWOZ, and was chosen by 'OZ host and musicologist Tom Morgan as one of his top 5 New Orleans records for 2008. In addition to leading his own band he is appearing with some of New Orleans' most popular acts, including Eric Lindell, Walter Wolfman Washington, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Mardi Gras Indian funk ensemble 101 Runners.

Toiling In Obscurity is his first solo effort, a project long-planned and mulled over and put off and picked up again. These songs are from various stages of his life and career, from “On the Skids”, a dark tongue-in-cheek ballad written in 1986, to “Don’t Believe It”, a funky call for healthy skepticism written just in time to be included. Covers include a brassed up arrangement of Dr John’s “Back by the River”, and a gospel-tinged “Shine a Light” by The Stones. The recording features some of New Orleans' finest, including Papa John Gros of Papa Grows Funk, John Fohl, guitarist in Dr. John's band, drummer Wayne Maureau and bassist Cass Faulconer, with guest appearences by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Craig Klein, Matt Perrine, Uganda Roberts, Seguenon Kone, Walter Washington, June Yamagishi, and more.

"I'm truly blessed to be here in New Orleans, getting to play with a variety of musicians, from blues to funk to jazz, and I consider it a priviledge just to walk the same streets with these people."

 “Sax player Jimmy Carpenter has a flair for arranging horns.” (Downbeat Magazine September ‘08).

     More History:

     Jimmy Carpenter hit the road in 1980 with renegade blues band The Alka-Phonics, from his hometown of Greensboro, NC. After 8 rather blurry years he relocated to Charlottesville, VA to join Charlie Pastorfield and The Believers, an original bluesy pop band. From '88-'95 The Believers toured the Mid-Atlantic extensively, and self-released 3 recordings of original material, "Golden Road" 1989, "I'm Your Prisoner" 1991, and "Live at Red Hot & Blue", 1993. For most of his time with The Believers Jimmy did all the booking, publicity, bookkeeping, payroll etc, and learned a great deal about the business. He then spent 2 years as an agent and promoter in the DC area, and took the first opportunity out, which came as a phone call from blues guitarist Tinsley Ellis, with whom he toured in 1998, doing about 250 shows nationwide. In 1999 he  joined old friend and stellar guitarist Jimmy Thackery, and worked with Jimmy as saxophonist and road manager until the end of 2004. Carpenter recorded 4 cd's with Thackery, Sinner Street (Blind Pig), We Got It, True Stories and Whiskey Store Live, all on Telarc. In the meantime having moved to New Orleans, Carpenter was determined to break into the scene in the Crescent City. He left Jimmy Thackery in December '04 to pursue opportunities here in New Orleans, and thus began what has been a wild adventure, musically and otherwise. He is also a member of The Sophisticats (http://thesophisticats.com and www.myspace/thesophisticats) with a brand new CD out called "When it Rains, it Purrs"