I’d like to tell you how I feel about this song.
Ok, that was a very lame attempt to try to use part of the song lyrics to kick-off this post. By the way, I realize I have been taking a long time in between posts. I need to get better with that. Anyway…
“Jimi Thing” is a song I have really gone back and forth on. When I first started getting into DMB and really delving into their library (circa 2003-2005), I really liked this song. And on first listen, you might like it as well. It’s fun, it’s relaxed, it’s just cool to listen to.
I thought the same thing, until I heard it [what felt like] every single time I saw the Dave Matthews Band live for about 3 years. Honestly, it felt like from 2006-2008 I heard this song EVERY SINGLE TIME I saw the band. In retrospect, that clearly wasn’t true. I think what made this notion worse is that the song lasts about 18 minutes, and during that time included solos from Butch Taylor. Now don’t get me wrong, I liked Butch. Some songs he really added to with his piano/keyboards/synthesizer. But there were times when I thought his parts were a little unnecessary, including “Jimi Thing.” However, once Tim Reynolds joined the tour as a constant member in 2008, the song has really taken off.
Another reason why I think it has really received a boost is because of Jeff Coffin. Now please please please, hear me when I saw I LOVED LeRoi Moore, and there is no replacing him. Every DMB fan would agree that Roi and Jeff are two completely different sax players. Equally awesome in their own rights. Roi was a much more melodic, soft, beautiful, awesome player. Jeff is much more rock, jam, etc player. Both awesome. Nothing bad about either of them. Jeff, however, added a little extra something to the solos with Tim Reynolds. The two of them go back and forth like you wouldn’t believe, and not just on “Jimi Thing.” It’s just awesome. Listen to any live version of “Jimi Thing” from the end of 2008 (after Roi’s passing) up to now. The solos will blow you away. While with Roi, they were so thought out and perfect and just mind-blowingly good… Jeff’s have a lot more jam to them, and he really gets into it with his whole body and the whole stage. That revived the song for me.
Anyway… I should probably get to THIS version now. On the album. WITH Roi.
Another song starting off with just a little Dave guitar, then getting into a soft vibe for the first verse. I really like how mellow this song is. If there’s a perfect word for this song… it’s definitely mellow. Especially because Dave says the word in the song.
The song is basically about weed. If you can’t tell… read through the lyrics. Especially the line where Dave says, “Smoke my mind makes me feel better for a short time.” That about sums it up. It’s basically about how someone can be ‘feeling low’ and then be brought back up by a certain something.
Now you might be asking yourself… what’s a Jimi Thing? That, my friends, is a condom. Now, there’s no real inclination of a Jimi Thing being a condom in the song itself. But if AntsMarching says it’s a condom, I’m definitely one to trust them. Plus, I have heard this numerous times before from various forums and books.
Now the song itself is, like I said, mellow. It’s one of those songs that you find yourself tapping your foot to, or making believe you’re playing an instrument. It has that affect on you. The thing about the music itself is that it changes back and forth (from verse to chorus, and even within the chorus itself) which adds to the fun. I’m trying to think of more things to say about the song and music itself, but I really can’t think of anything besides ‘mellow’ and ‘fun’ to describe it. You just have to listen to it to understand…
I am a big proponent of drums, so that’s what I always hear, but the violin really comes through strongly here, and it’s a nice thing to hear. And of course Roi’s sax is always a big staple. And right at the 4:49 mark is where we get an absolutely perfect taste of exactly how awesome Roi is.
As always, I am going to give you two live versions. The first is an awesome version from a show I was in attendance for. It was Alpine Valley of last year (2009). It’s a really good version from a fan, and the audio is pretty good as well. You’ll notice the first verse is not sung by Mr. Matthews. Sometimes, when he’s feeling like it, he lets the crowd sing the first verse. He went through a big phase of this too, but enjoy anyway. Also… at around 5:45 is where the awesomeness that is the jam begins.
I bet you’re thinking, “why hasn’t he discussed a Dave & Tim version yet?” Well, lucky for you this is where I talk about that very thing. This is, once again, from Luther College. Awesomeness ensues.
All in all, I love this song now. I can listen to it live over and over again, especially if it has Jeff Coffin and Tim Reynolds on it. Other versions are good, but the song gets a lot better with those two, and I mean it. For this version, the Under the Table and Dreaming version, it’s good. I can’t say anything bad about it, and I think you’ll enjoy it.
Song Rating: 4/5
Next Song: “Warehouse”