McCoy jumps home with new album
The title of Tommy McCoy’s new album, “Coast to Coast Jump,” has a couple of meanings.
The Howland native primarily lives in Florida, but his daughter lives in Los Angeles.
“I’m always jumping from the Florida coast to the California coast,” he said, but that’s not the only reason for the title. “It’s West Coast jump music. Almost all of the songs are jump. I’m really jumping on the guitar, that nice, clean, fat-body jump tone. I’ve been listening to Tiny Grimes and Hollywood Fats and all the West Coast jump cats. I’m into it. I love it.”
“Coast to Coast Jump” is the ninth album by the 1973 Howland High School graduate, and over the years he’s recorded with such artists as Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band, Commander Cody and Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton, who were Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section, Double Trouble.
He has a star-studded lineup joining him this time as well, with Alligator recording artist Rick Estrin on harmonica; Mitch Woods, a jump-blues piano player whose band is the Rocket 88s; and Jim Pugh, who played Hammond B-3 organ for 25 years in Robert Cray’s band.
“Everyone on here won a blues music award last year except me,” McCoy joked.
The record was produced by Norwegian blues guitarist Kid Anderson at his Greaseland Recording Studio in San Jose, Calif., and Anderson’s wife, former “American Idol” competitor Lisa Leuschner Anderson, sings on a couple of tracks.
Keyboard player Gary Boggess and drummer Jose Ortiz, who played in the band I Don’t Care in the ’70s, join McCoy on the final two tracks, “Perfect is Close Enough” and the title song.
McCoy penned nine of the songs solo and co-wrote “Startled” with Karen Caruthers, which he called one of the best songs he’s ever written. The swing influence from the jump blues makes the piano and keyboard more prominent than on some of McCoy’s other albums, but there’s still plenty of his blues guitar.
The one cover on the record is a version of Frank Zappa’s “Cosmik Debris.”
“I love Frank Zappa,” McCoy said. “I’ve always wanted to do one of his his songs. ‘Cosmik Debris’ is one of my favorites. It’s bluesy and it has that tempo change. I hadn’t planned on doing it, but when I found out Rick Estrin was willing to do the session, this was my chance.”