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October 20, 2011 / rockroots

Jimi Slevin & Firefly – Getting There

 

 

Irish band Peggy’s Leg began to disintegrate just months after the release  of their excellent late-1973 prog rock album Grinilla. Bassist Vincent Duffy left in 1974 and guitarist/vocalist Jimi Slevin in 1975 (replaced briefly by Thin Lizzy‘s Eric Bell before the group disbanded). Slevin – already a veteran of late ’60s blues power trio Crossroads and early ’70s soul/rock group Alice – joined a reformed Skid Row for eight months, during which time they cut the single The Spanish Lady / Elvira. He then formed his own Jimi Slevin Band with former Medium Wave Band members Brian Despard on drums and Garrett Brown on bass. Soon, ex-Peggy’s Leg guitarist/vocalist Jimmy Gibson reunited with Slevin in the new group. They recorded two tracks (I Don’t Wanna Leave and Innocence) for the December 1976 various artists EP Falling Asunder: Rock Review Part II on CBS, before cutting the EMI album Getting There in 1977 (credited to ‘Jimi Slevin & Firefly‘). By then, Micky Hanway had become the bass player. Later band members included singer Mick O’Hagen, formerly with an early line-up of Cromwell and brother of Eurovision star Johnny Logan. Jimi Slevin launched a fully solo career in 1980, and in 1983 released his critically acclaimed album Freeflight (since re-released on CD), followed by Home To The Heart in 2001. He is currently based in Germany where he has his own record label and recording studio. Brian Despard spent the early ’80s with Dublin new wave band Toy With Rhythm, while Jimmy Gibson spent that decade playing with popular jazz group Hotfoot. Gibson, who received writing credits for five of the tracks on this album, sadly passed away in January 2011.

Getting There captures a point of transition in Slevin’s musical evolution. It blends elements of his prog rock past with a direct hard rock that was more fashionable in 1977, and even has hints of his future classically-influenced work. Tracks like Eternal Crown bear the influence of Thin Lizzy, while a heavy version of Hold On Pretty Woman is an affectionate tribute to Skid Row and Brush Shiels. Child of Peace was originally written by Slevin when he was with Crossroads many years earlier. More progressive material like Magic Lands and Magical Lady would not have been out of place on Grinilla – which was, after all, released only four years earlier. Another feature of Peggy’s Leg was their adaptation of classical music, a tradition here revived in versions of Air On A ‘G’ String and Cavatina. Wouldn’t It Be Nice showcased Slevin’s tin whistle and acoustic guitar playing, and presaged his beautiful and haunting Freeflight album. Yet despite the diversity of music on this album it combines into a convincing whole, and fans of each genre will find something to satisfy them.

 

Getting There (192 kbps):

01  Don’t Wanna Leave

02  Zodiac

03  Child Of Peace

04  Magic Lands

05  Eternal Crown

06  Just Thinkin’

07  Hold On Pretty Woman

08  Magical Lady

09  Air On A ‘G’ String

10  Living On Secrets

11  Wouldn’t It Be Nice

12  Cavatina

 

Jimi Slevin’s official website (linked below) is well worth a visit for his extensive memoirs, recalled with a lot of humour. His page offering audio samples from various stages in his career carries digitally remastered versions of some tracks from this album, with a promise of a forthcoming CD re-issue. This plan, unfortunately, appears to have stalled for the moment. With this in mind it’s worth repeating that, as with other music hosted on this site, there is no intention to infringe on the rights of the recording artists involved and that we will fully comply with any requests to remove download links. Further, the links will voluntarily be withdrawn as soon as a legitimate digital re-issue replaces the need for a transfer from rare and expensive vintage vinyl.

 

See also:

Jimi Slevin Official Website

Jimmy Gibson RIP

 

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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Michael / Jan 1 2013 22:55

    I saw him play twice, in Blackrock Park and in St Stephens Green. Was anyone else there?

  2. Séamus / Jun 29 2013 17:52

    Excellent album – I hadn’t heard of Jimi Slevin until I came across your blog. Many thanks for uploading.

  3. tonyobrien / Oct 22 2013 12:21

    Have copy of Peggys Leg from 1973 on vinly for sale contact tonyobrien1961@hotmail .com for details

  4. Des kennedy / Mar 2 2017 22:25

    I heard jimmy slevin band twice in the late70s and what a band. Never heard anything like jimmy on guitar best guitarist I’ve ever heard. Don’t know what became of him or where he is now

Trackbacks

  1. Falling Asunder Rock Review part II « Rock Roots
  2. Peggy’s Leg – William Tell Overture « Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive
  3. Urge – What’s Wrong? What’s Right? / Feelin’ Free | Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive
  4. The Establishment – The Unfree Child | Rock Roots: The Irish Rock Music Archive

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