In Twin Springs this weekend for a staff retreat (yeah, BW is a pretty cool place to work), Jimmy Bivens played for the 20 or so folks present at the bar at the Twin Springs Resort. Lacking enough electricity for certain sound elements, Bivens' show was still impressive and entertaining. Accompanied by Amy Rohyans on vocals, the pair are a successful duo with Bivens on rhythm guitar and vocals as well. Engaging the audience with anecdotes about the songs and questions relating to lyrics of popular covers (I got to jump in and assist on one), Bivens' show could easily translate to a bigger venue.
"It's a Good Day" is a melodious, poignant song about the bittersweet aspects of being in love. With Royhans singing lyrics like How can I tell you how I feel/when I can't call you on the phone/Is this it?/Is this my life destined to be alone?, the song captures feelings everyone can relate to. "Street Traffic" was completely different-somewhat absurd as the entire meaning of the song is literal: "I just want to cross the road." And Bivens admits it towards the song's end: "No real moral to these words, just another thinking man's song."
Overall, the honky-tonk rhythm and blues of Bivens is earthily reminiscent of the Old West, and the animal-trophy-adorned bar was the ideal setting for the duo.
While Bivens and Rohyans took a break, BW editor Bingo Barnes entertained us with his guitar and vocal stylings. Though the dancing bug had already spread, Barnes brought more to the floor with covers by Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Tom Waits as well as some original songs.
Bivens' finished off the night with more soul-infused country covers of Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason" and Rohyan's westernizing U2's hit, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." Bivens couldn't finish his set, however, without throwing in "Mustang Sally" in honor of our publisher. Look for future shows by Bivens a little closer to Boise in the near future.