Jam With The Jime, Rockabilly Jam Tracks
Vince Gordon, 2006

A CD with rockabilly backing tracks for musicians to play along to.

What it is:
Itís a normal audio CD that you put it in your CD player or computer CD drive and play along to. It's called 'Jam With The Jime' because it's with The Jime's rhythm section like it appears on their records. The instruments used are: Slap bass (upright bass), drums, acoustic guitar and every second track has an added electric rhythm guitar (A vintage '55 Gretsch 6120 G-brand in fact!) with a typical rockabilly echo.

The tracks are in the basic so-called 12-bar 'blues' format that fits countless rockabilly songs. Theyíre all in the key of A, which is by far the most popular key in Rockabilly. The 18 tracks are in 9 different tempos. From 120 bpm to 200 bpm (bpm = Beats Per Minute).

What itís not:
These are not midi songs like itís often seen on jam track CDs and no synthesized sounds have been used, only real instruments.  It's not just one recording that has been mechanically pitched into different tempos. All different tempos are different recordings.

In keeping with the concept of the CD there's no lead guitar on the tracks or any other lead instruments.

Review by guitarist and music teacher Stu Frederick (PA, USA).
This CD is a much more useful practice tool than I ever imagined. It was not until I had the CD in my player, with guitar in hand, that I began to feel the ways it helped me sharpen my skills, not just merely by driving the tempo up (which the CD allows you to do), but by pushing your creativity in "filling the bar" at the lower tempos.

The rhythm section is so consistently dry and non-invasive, that you can use it to develop rhythm work as well as leads.

In my studio, I suddenly realized I could turn to the piano and work on my Jimmy Johnson. Sitting in my studio with one of my more accomplished students, I let him handle the guitar alone and got out my harmonica. We had a really good jam session.

It was a great lesson in musical communication, the hard concept to teach, especially if you only have a metronome to drive the beat. I'm always looking for ways to motivate students and to give them reasons to play at home. Getting them to open a lesson book can be tough. But how about popping in a CD to play along? Duck soup!

That goes for me, too. Now I've got a real good way of raising the bar on myself when I'm working on finger-style or a fast run. And I don't need the rest of my band there to do it.

Vince Gordon passed away in 2016, please visit his tribute page:

Information provided by Stu Frederick, The Rivers Rockabilly Trio, 2006