If you notice a few headbangers among the blues crowd at Wilbert's when Jimmy Thackery comes to town, don't be too surprised. The power and prowess displayed in a typical Thackery set attracts guitar fans of all persuasions. A few players are fortunate to get a grip on one style; the 50-year-old, D.C.-bred Thackery is a walking tutorial of blues, roots rock, and beyond. While high-powered blues is at the core of his craft, he easily cooks up tasty jump blues, swing, country, and full-throttle rock and roll at a moment's notice.
Making his first waves in the '70s and '80s with the legendary East Coast outfit the Nighthawks, Thackery formed a critically acclaimed R&B unit, the Assassins, in 1987. Since 1992, he's led the Drivers, which for most of its existence tastefully fused the formats of blues band and power trio. In recent years, sax and organ have expanded the sound, but the hard-working, hard-touring bandleader remains the story.