Jimmy Sutton’s Four Charms debuted their fusion of classic American music on New Years Eve, 1998.
The bands intense chemistry and energetic show was an immediate hit. For four years, from 1999 to 2003, the Four Charms performed to a standing room only audience at Chicago’s historic Green Mill jazz club. A quartet that were versatile in all forms of American roots styles, the Four Charms recalled the sincerity and musical depth of Tiny Grimes, Merle Travis, The Treniers and Willie Dixon’s Big Three Trio, to name a few. Key elements of the Charms sound are their dynamics, guitar/sax harmonies and their call and response style, as evidenced on their original tunes, “Sherry Flip”, “Dont Make Me Beg” and “Triskaidekaphobia”, as well as their translations of familiar and obscure material (from Roy Brown’s “Up Jumped The Devil” to the lesser known Five Blazes tune “Chicago Boogie”).
Jimmy Sutton has been playing the doghouse bass since his high school days. Nominated twice by the Illinois Entertainer as the best bass player in Chicago, Sutton incorporates many diverse musical styles. He has recorded with highly acclaimed rockabilly, country and blues artists, including Ronnie Dawson, Koko Taylor, Willie Big Eyes Smith, Deke Dickerson and has shared the stage with a roster of greats, as well. Most notably, Jimmy Sutton was co-founder of Chicago’s Mighty Blue Kings. You can now find Jimmy Sutton performing with The Del Moroccos, The Western Elstons, Deke Dickerson, Chicago Blues Round Robin, and performing under his own name. After three years with the Mighty Blue Kings Sutton teamed up with Madison, Wisconsin blues guitar ace (and vocalist) Joel Paterson. You can now find Paterson performing with The Western Elstons and his own group The Modern Sounds. Sutton and Paterson then recruited former Mighty Blue King tenor and baritone saxman, Jonathan Doyle. Doyle was a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, until his relocation to Austin, Texas, where he played with the Asylum Street Spankers and Witt Smiths Hot Jazz Caravan. He was just recently touring with Willie Nelson and Asleep At The Wheel, and also The White Ghost Shivers. Cincinnati, Ohio export Jim Barclay on drums rounded out the quartet.
In 2000, the debut disc from the Four Charms, Flatland Boogie, was received with tremendous reviews and sold 5,000 copies. In 2005, The second disc, Triskaidekaphobia, is a current favorite for American and European rockabilly and blues audiences The Charms have played across the US and Europe and have had the opportunity to share the stage and back up some legendary acts such as Jimmy McCracklin, Joe Houston, The Calvanes, The Cleftones, The Teenagers, Billy Lee Riley, Wanda Jackson, and Vernon Taylor. In 2001, the band won the Chicago Musicians award for Best Rock Entertainer. The quartet performed their last show under The Four Charms name in 2007. The Charms still live on in their two albums, Flatland Boogie and Triskaidekaphobia. Call them swing, call them rockabilly, call them jump rhythm-and-blues, call them jazz…..just don’t call them before noon!