Ever wish you could hear just one more song from your favorite recording artist, but that artist has passed on to the great jam band in the sky? Well, that once in a lifetime wish has been granted to fans of James Dewar. A classic track originally recorded in 1986, and lost for 29 years, has been unearthed, meticulously restored, and released for all his fans to enjoy.
James "Jimmy" Dewar (1942-2002) possessed one of the sweetest and most soulful voices in all of rock’n roll. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1942, Jimmy’s career started with Lulu and The Luvvers in the early 1960s, graduating to vocals and bass in Stone The Crows with Maggie Bell, and ultimately to fronting the Robin Trower Band in 1973. Jimmy’s vocal prowess can be heard on such legendary RTB tracks as “Daydream”, Bridge Of Sighs”, “I Can’t Wait Much Longer”, “Too Rolling Stoned”, Hannah”, “Long Misty Days”.
The story behind this extraordinary event is as follows: In 1986, Jimmy traveled to Northern California with the possibility in mind of starting his solo career back up again after leaving the Robin Trower Band. He recorded a song called “Word For Word”, written by two successful San Francisco songwriters Janet Minto (the famous “Janet Planet” - the former Mrs. Van Morrison), and Pam Barlow (married to Bruce “Buffalo” Barlow from Commander Cody). It was produced and recorded by John Rewind, a successful Bay Area producer and old friend of Jimmy’s from his RTB days. After the session was completed, Jimmy, who was having some health problems, returned to his family in Glasgow. The session was shelved and forgotten.
Fast forward to 2015. John Rewind was taking inventory in his studio tape vault and noticed an unmarked box of 1” tape. Curious, he threaded up the tape. After one listen, he realized what he had and it all came rushing back to him. There was no doubt that Jimmys’ vocal performance on the track was inspired, but the music needed some serious updating. After all, it had been intended to be only a demo and needed to be brought up to master quality. John knew there was only one person to collaborate with on this task.
The 2015 recording of “Word For Word” is a direct result of the musical and technical know how of Fred Sampson, a brilliant guitarist and songwriter, who co-wrote “I Need Your Love” with Tom Scholtz for Boston’s ‘Walk On’ CD. Fred and John, formerly with the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils and producer of Georgia Whiting, Davey Pattison, and Bobby Black, are both diehard Jimmy Dewar fanatics. Both consider this opportunity to collaborate posthumously with Jimmy a rare honor and privilege.
With the able assistance of Randall Greenlease serving as their ‘sonic and content advisor’, the three worked on the production in recording studios in both in California and Nevada. The finished track has been mastered by Paul Stubblebine , also from the San Francisco Bay Area, who is one of the premier mastering engineers in the world, and one of the owners of The Tape Project, a boutique music company that releases many of the great recordings of history on two-track reel to reel tape.
So, please sit back and enjoy, at long last, "Word For Word" performed by James Dewar. Who says miracles don’t happen?