The Too Bad Jims got their name after an RL Burnside album on Fat Possum titled "Too Bad Jim", and formed in January 2023 as a collaboration between two veteran and multiple award-winning musicians Little Victor and Son Jack Jr. They play a gritty high-octane mix of North Mississippi Hill Country blues and boogie.
Their unique and unusual combination of dual vocals, dual guitars and rock-solid driving rhythm section delivers the kind of raw, hypnotic and gritty sound you’d expect to only hear in a North Mississippi juke joint. After a few months, they decided to add veteran drummer Nick Simonon from The Mighty Lo-Fi Kings to their duo and things started to really get cookin'.
Their debut album is scheduled for release in late 2023 and is a tribute to the legendary RL Burnside, who was a massive top-selling artist leading light in the music of the North Mississippi Hill Country that influenced a couple of generations in the past three decades, from Jack White/The White Stripes to Billie Eilish, The Black Keyes and many more in between.
After relocating to the London area from Seattle, WA, British-born American award-winning artist Son Jack Jr (an avid fan of this type of blues and especially RL Burnside) got in touch with multiple award-winning Little Victor Mac whom he had befriended since Victor's glory with Louisiana Red.
The two men never met in person until only a few months ago but ever since their first jam, they sounded like they’d been playing together since day one. Little Victor (who moved to England in late 2014) has deep knowledge of this style of music and RL Burnside in particular. When he was younger, he played with RL Burnside Robert Belfour, Jessie Mae Hemphill and many other "backwater" artists from the Memphis/North Mississippi area.
His "uncle" David Evans is responsible for Burnside's first recordings done by George Mitchell in 1967 and years later he managed and recorded RL, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill for High Water Records.
Victor's cousin Tav Falco first filmed RL in his juke joint in the early 1970s and he clearly remembers watching this over and over again when he first started to play guitar. Nick on drums sounds like Cedric Burnside if he would have played drums like his father (and RL's first "historic" drummer) Calvin Jackon.
The Too Bad Jims' debut album features a selection of well-known to pretty obscure songs from Burnside's repertoire and sounds totally in the spirit of RL's album "Too Bad Jim." They opted for the same type of funky, low-down approach that gives the music an immediacy that more polished blues albums lack. Unsurprisingly The Too Bad Jims live sounds just the same.