Jimmy Griffin | Jimmy Griffin

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Jimmy Griffin

by Jimmy Griffin

Forty years of the musical relationship between 'Bread' band co-founders James Griffin and Robb Royer.
Genre: Rock: Classic Rock
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Slow Train
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4:24 $0.99
2. Share This Love
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3:39 $0.99
3. Say When
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3:31 $0.99
4. Once Again
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3:31 $0.99
5. Pair Of 8's
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4:15 $0.99
6. Preacher On The Air
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7. Shango
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3:09 $0.99
8. Throw The Bottle
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3:23 $0.99
9. Adrienne
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2:40 $0.99
10. Midnight Lover
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3:37 $0.99
11. Be That Way
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12. Step Outta Line
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I first met Jimmy in 1966. We were introduced by my school friend, his girlfriend and soon-to-be wife Maria Yolanda. On a particular evening she thought he’d be home by eight so she invited me over to their apartment where we sat waiting for him, sipping wine. He didn’t actually come home ‘til eleven and by the time he walked in, here was this strange guy in his apartment with his old lady, both of us pretty plastered. This didn’t seem to bother him at all and a very few minutes after meeting him he asked me ‘can you write horn parts’? Yes! I lied and ended up helping him with some orchestration he was doing for a music class at LACC. It was the beginning of a musical relationship, bromance if you will, that lasted almost forty years.

Along the way there were a number of ‘periods’. We started out as contract writers for Viva Music where Jimmy forced them to sign me with the threat ‘I will be writing with him. Do you really want to give away half the publishing on all those songs?’

It was a wise move on their part because several of the songs that followed ended up being recorded by a group called Bread which was our next period. During this phase we also wrote a song called For All We Know’ with Fred Karlin for a film called ‘Lovers and Other Strangers’. The song turned out to be a hit for the Carpenters and,
in a masterpiece of improbability, won us an Oscar.

I ended up leaving Bread before Jimmy did but we wrote together for the group for the duration of its existence.

Bread finally broke up for the last time in 1977 but Jimmy and I continued on. The 80’s were our ‘Island’ period followed by a rediscovery of roots and country in Nashville in the 90’s. We often were involved in separate projects, but always found a way to write and record together.

The last song we wrote was ‘Share This Love’, recorded in April 2004. By August of that year he had lost his voice to cancer. He died in January 2005.

This album is, of course, dedicated to him.


Robb Royer

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CREDITS AND NOTES


1. SLOW TRAIN Griffin/Cerney/Knechtel/Royer

This is one of the few extant ‘Toast’ tracks. Toast consisted of (see writer’s credits). Three Breadies plus Todd, quietly together in Nashville. Recorded about 1995.

Vocals, Guitar: James Griffin
Mandolin, vocals: Todd Cerney
Piano: Larry Knechtel
Slide: Larry Byrum
Drums: Steve Turner

2. SHARE THIS LOVE Griffin/Royer

As stated above, our last song.

Guitar, Vocals: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Bass: Michael Rhodes
Drums: Shannon Forrest

3. SAY WHEN Griffin/Royer

Written for a late ‘Bread’ reunion tour. Jimmy laid his parts down when we wrote it in the late ’90. Drums and Bass were added around 2007. Brandon overdubbed the weeping guitar in 2009.

Guitar, Vocals: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Bass: Michael Rhodes
Drums: Shannon Forrest
Guitar: Brandon Henegar

4. ONCE AGAIN Griffin/Royer

This came from a session in 1994 with several of the Nashville ‘cats’.

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Whistle: James Griffin
Electric Guitar: Jeff King
Bass: Spadey
Drums: Shannon Forrest
Fiddle: Damn… I forgot
Keys: Robb Royer

5. PAIR OF 8’S Griffin/Royer

Jimmy never really understood the lyric of this one. He kept asking ‘what’s the significance of a pair of 8’s?’ I kept assuring him the idea worked. You be the judge.

Guitars, Vocals: James Griffin
Bass: Dave Roe
Drums: Lynn Williams
Organ: Robb Royer

6. PREACHER ON THE AIR Griffin/Royer

Mid 1980’s. This master tape was lost in my move to Nashville. The performance was reconstructed from a two-track mix. Vocals were flown in from an old demo session where James and Blondie Chaplin were jamming vocal ideas. During this period we called ourselves The Circuit for some reason. That band was:

Vocals and Guitar: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Drums: David Kemper
Bass: David Miner
Guitar: Ira Ingber

7. SHANGO Griffin/Royer

Written for a TV show although the show was never made and I don’t know if we ever got around to submitting the song. We just liked the Caribbean theme so we used that as a starting point. The bell-buoy-in-the-harbor effect was achieved by Jimmy rotating the ice in his drink glass in front of the microphone.

Guitar, Vocals: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Bass: Michael Rhodes
Drums: Shannon Forrest
Guitars: Ira Ingber

8. THROW THE BOTTLE Griffin/Royer

The bottle was heavily involved in the entire thing. Recorded in one night in the mid-80’s. He kept laying on vocals and I just kept recording them.

All Vocals: James Griffin
Keyboard Program: Robb Royer
Drums: Shannon Forrest
Bass: Michael Rhodes


9. ADRIENNE James Griffin

Jimmy wrote this music probably in the late sixties. I tried for twenty years to write a lyric to it. I thought Jimmy should give me a piece of it ‘cause I worked on it for so long, probably threw away five lyrics and, after all we were partners. I even titled the damn thing. But he said no and I understood. It was his song.

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals: James Griffin
Electric Guitar: Jeff King
Bass: Spadey
Drums: Shannon Forrest
Steel: Dan Dugmore

10. MIDNIGHT LOVER Robb Royer

Inspired by a movie story but probably never submitted. Another ‘Circuit’ track.

Vocals and Guitar: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Drums: David Kemper
Bass: David Miner
Guitar: Ira Ingber

11. BE THAT WAY Griffin/Royer/Kafka

A song Jimmy and I somehow wrote this with Polish jazz/avant garde composer Bernard Kafka. The thing about Bernard is he was very… Kafka-esque.

Vocals: James Griffin
Keyboards: Robb Royer
Drums: David Kemper
Bass: David Miner
Guitar: Ira Ingber

12. STEP OUTTA LINE Griffin/Royer

At first I thought this was a discarded Bread track, but I found a master tape dating it December 1974 which would place it in the middle of the Bread ‘hiatus’. The lyric I actually wrote to Jimmy as an encouragement in fighting some of his battles of the time.

Guitar, Vocals: James Griffin
Drums:?
Bass:?
Mini Moog Solo: Larry Knechtel



Produced by: Robb Royer
Engineers: Brandon Henegar, Michael Hanson, Chris Clark
Apologies to any and all who worked on this but were lost in the mists of time


Reviews


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Fran Hart

Humble and Underrated
Humble and Underrated is how I would describe Jimmy Griffin. For those of us who knew him, these two words will have instant significance.

Kudos to Robb Royer for releasing this album. It should make all the Griffin-philes very happy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Robb in 2009 and he was very generous with his time. He has obviously brought his considerable talents to this album. While I have heard most of these songs before, many were in "demo" form. This album transforms those "diamonds in the rough" into a polished end-product. For example, many people have probably heard "Say When", which Jimmy performed live during the '96/'97 reunion tour. This song now comes alive with Robb's keen production skills. The rest of the album is equally enjoyable.

Thanks Robb, for doing this. You were an integral influence on Jimmy's writing. We needed a new dose of your music and just in time for Christmas!!

Cheers!

Fran Hart

John O'Reilly

Re acquainted listener
I am waiting for a copy of this work, I have long thought Jimmy Griffin was never given his dues for some outstanding work with his years with Bread. I truly am looking forward to listening to all of these NEW tracks to me. Look What You've Done, Fancy Dancer, Don't Tell Me No, all still fresh on my radio.