Jimmy Allgood revels in the smooth R&B grooves of the early ‘90s while also keeping one ear tuned to the soulful sounds emanating from Stax Records in the early ‘70s. But his work draws influence from a host of artists and aesthetics, effortlessly building connections between R&B, pop and soul in a way that highlights the individualities of each while also creating something greater than the sum of its parts. The music is intuitive and subtle, working its way deep into your heart before you realize that you’ve become completely submerged in its impulsive rhythms.
Allgood’s career reaches all the way back to 1992, which is when he released his first single. He soon developed a dedicated fan base in his hometown of Chattanooga and continued to release a series of tracks, with the video to “One Eye Watching” eventually landing him a spot in BET’s music rotation for over 2 months. He would go on to open for such artists as Usher, Ginuwine and Keith Washington, bringing his persuasive melodies and soul-inflected movements to a national audience.
Recently, Allgood released his version of “Sara Smile,” a cover of the popular Hall & Oates song. Initially released as a single in 1976, the track was the group’s first Top 10 hit in the US, subsequently reaching up to number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Allgood, however, makes this familiar song sound completely reinvigorated, matching the vocal theatrics of the original perfectly. It’s a testament to his range and ability that the song easily holds its own against the source material. Weaving around those gossamer tones and airy harmonies, his voice deftly conveys the longing and emotional resonance that Hall & Oates so easily tapped into.
“’Sara Smile’ is one of those songs you could listen too over and over again,” Allgood says. “What inspired me to redo this classic song was the meaning of the words. I remember going to school listening to this song on MTV, and I then had a dream about redoing a classic song. And ‘Sara Smile’ was it. I love all of Hall & Oates’ songs, and I knew I had the voice to sing it -- and it came out amazing. People today are very familiar with it, and they will always sing along whenever I perform this song.”