Sandy Key Music
Jim Allchin was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and attended The University of Florida. He earned his M.S. and PhD at Georgia Institute of Technology and Stanford University. Allchin went to work for Microsoft where he helped to develop Windows operating systems including Windows 98, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Allchin retired from Microsoft in 2007 at the age of 56.
Since his retirement Allchin has been pursuing his love of guitar. Allchin, who also sings, released his first album “Enigma” in 2009 which he refers to as a beta test. His second blues rock album was 2011’s “Overlooked”. Allchin released his third studio recording “Q.E.D.” in 2013. Interestingly the title refers to “quod erat demonstrandum” used to denote the completion of a mathematical proof. His all original brainy albums have received widespread acclaim for his guitar playing and reached the top 10 on “Internet Blues Radio”.
For this new album Allchin enlisted Grammy winning producer Tom Hambridge. The band includes Allchin, guitar and vocals; Pat Buchannan or Rob McNelley, guitars; Michael Rhodes, bass; Reese Wynans, keyboards; and Hambridge, drums. The Heart Attack Horns are featured on eight of the fourteen tracks; including Lee Thornburg, trumpet and trombone; and Bill Bergman, sax and horn arrangements. All songs are written or co-written by Allchin.
“Artificial Life” opens the album. Allchin has a great voice and he rocks while Wynans is on the B-3. “Mexican End” includes Wynans and the Heart Attack Horns. The title track, “Decisions”, co-written with Hambridge follows. Allchin’s guitar playing is impressive as he solos nicely on each of these.
“Healing Ground” is written with Hambridge and Richard Fleming and features guest vocalist Keb’ Mo and background vocalists Wendy Moten and Mycle Wastman.
The shuffle “Blew Me Away” just might be my favorite track and it features a great guitar solo from Allchin, the horns and Wynans on the B-3. “She is It” is a pop sounding ballad nicely sung by Allchin. “Just Plain Sick” is a swinging boogie-woogie instrumental with Wynans on piano. “You Might Be Wrong” features the horns and McNelley on an acoustic. “Don’t Care” is a great vocal from Allchin with Wynans on the B-3 and Hambridge’s big beats.
“After Hours” is a fabulous instrumental featuring a new line-up of Kenny Greenberg, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; James Wallace, keyboards and Hambridge, drums. They appear again on “Destiny” another instrumental that closes out this fine album.
Allchin is impressive as a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist.
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