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Guitarist Triumphant In Callahan's Return

of the Oakland Press

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Jimmy Thackery returns to the scene of “the crime” this weekend.

On Nov. 19, the veteran blues guitarist — a former member of The Nighthawks and leader of the Assassins — brought his current trio, the Drivers to Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills to record and film a show for the just-released “Live in Detroit! Big Long Buick.”

The Virginia-based Thackery calls Callahan’s “one of the nicest situations around for making music” but says the collection also celebrates the rekindling of his relationship with Detroit audiences after being absent for many years following the closing of his favorite club, Sully’s in Dearborn.

“For a long time there was just no place to play up there that I enjoyed,” Thackery, 56, explains. “I tried a few places, but none of them were a good fit. Whenever my favorite club goes down in a market, I always try a couple of places, but if they don’t work, I stay out of that market until something opens up.

“So I stayed away from (Detroit), which was really hard to do ’cause I have so many wonderful friends I’ve met over the years, some very close friends. It was very hard to stay away from that, but lo and behold, here comes Callahan’s, so I can come back into a really good situation.”

And even though “Big Long Buick” subtitle comes from the Big Joe Maher song that Thackery and the Drivers play, the inspiration to use it came from the trio’s first visit to Callahan’s.

“We pulled into the parking lot,” he recalls, “and the only car there is the car that is actually on the album cover — a ’60 Deuce and a Quarter (Buck 225) convertible.

“We just went, ‘Wow, whose is that?!’ It turns out it’s the sound guy (Peter Jay). So there we were in Detroit, we do a song called ‘Big Long Buick,’ and there’s one in the parking lot that belongs to the sound guy. It’s not brain surgery figuring out it what the album title should be, y’know?”

Jimmy Thackery & the Drivers perform Saturday, April 24, at Callahan’s Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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