Oh Brother Where Art Thou? (1995)

10 September 2006 | Por | Categorías: 90's, Discos

There are bands and records that seem to be completely unconcerned by the passage of time, conceived on the basis of influences with the profit of a sound as the only premise, this sound is identified to its creator. Unfortunately, the Indie Pop is a style (?) that fits to the groups who shelter under its umbrella, a rigid pattern which, because of the own creative limitations of the artists, it is difficult to leave. But the exception always makes formal appearance, and it causes every certain time the appearance of records that, independently of how much they surpass the average, they will be always remembered because of knowing how be distinguished from the sound of its generation.

In the decade of the 90’s The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group emphasized thanks to a very personal sound, fruit of the diverse influences of the jazz, bossa and a certain touch of lounge, which together with the ability of the group with great melodies, were able to came to light two wonderful works which belongs to the best products of those years.

Nobody knows how much the scene of the city of Minneapolis owe the group of Jim Ruiz. Probably much, since prior to their existence, little people could locate musically to this city in the world-wide map, I can only remember other illustrious neighbours of the city who were active in the same time that our protagonists, they are the wonderful The Hang Ups, and they are still in good form. The rest of the groups of the city who have arrived until us, have a strong nexus of union with The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group, since, we can find in almost all of them, some old member of the band. Thus we have so valid examples as The Shebrews or Stephanie Says, the groups of Stephanie Winter (ex? wife of Jim Ruiz), or Ninotchka and Ninian Hawick also with other old members of the band among the components, all of them pertaining to the catalogue of Grimsey.

The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group gave two recommendable Lp’s: Oh Brother Where Art Thou? And Sniff, both LP’s show, from a beginning, the taste of the band of a Pop with strong influences of other styles. The election of one of the records is not easy since they have similar artistic level, nevertheless, the first of their works presents all these influences not related to Pop in a more accentuated way, resulting to be more defining in the sound of the band, and for that reason it is the most representative record of their sound. Sniff has the honour of being the most Pop record of the band, as well as the most well-known, thanks, in certain degree, to have been published (In addition to Minty Fresh) by the prestigious Siesta Record, synonymous of good taste in those years.

The name of The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group hid, in fact, a sextet (including Stephanie Winter-Ruiz, wife of Jim Ruiz in those times) supported by a good number of collaborator in the task of making sound guitars, organs, pianos or saxes. With the collaboration of all of them, they gave shape to the sound of this Oh Brother Where Art Thou? , sometimes Pop record, other times pure Bossa in pieces as the delicious as Be My Valentine or Spain, with the voice of Stephanie to the control of this last song. The most jazzy, Mij Ámsterdam shows us to the marriage in a vocal duet accompanied by a pristine and elegant instrumentation. My Bloody Yugo, with the compass of sax, ends up exploding, again, in the voice of Stephanie in the choirs, in order to return to the same rhythm without perturbing.

Really, it is no worth relating song by song, because all of them have the same sources, and they do not lose the sight of its popular origin, so they are able to construct subjects of greater packing thanks to their devotion for “more cultured” music, without forgetting some sparkle of the lounge rescue, so fashionable in those years. The greater virtue of the record resides in being able to sound different and present, simultaneously, classic and forgotten references in the american pop at the moment of the record production.

The disappearance of The Legendary Jim Ruiz Group buried them under the forgetfulness, and today nobody seems to remember them, paying greater attention to other later projects that never have managed to reach the class of the two works of the group. It seems that Jim Ruiz and his seal of quality was swallowed by the earth after the dissolution of the group, and we have never had about him, who knows if someday he will return to surprise us?! ……

Oh Brother Where Art Thou? And Sniff are still locatable in the second hand market, also new copies of the second one thanks Siesta Record. Remember, records like this are not made every day, and with the pass of the years these are the kind of work which will be present in our memory.

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  1. Totalmente de acuerdo …

    Jim Ruiz … ¿dónde estás?

  2. pues parece que vuelven!!!

  3. Gracias por el aviso!!

    Manuel Soleado

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