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Singer-songwriter Jimbeau Hinson has been writing hits for country artists for decades, including Brenda Lee, Patti Loveless, and the Oak Ridge Boys. His debut album Strong Medicine includes songs he’s written over the years about his struggle with HIV. The openly bisexual Hinson was positively diagnosed with HIV in the '80s. His music deals with various issues including his own personal struggle with HIV, and his relationship with his wife Brenda. He also encompasses universal themes such love, and finding your own strength.
To learn more about Hinson, watch the video below:
The first song on Strong Medicine is “Dance of Life.” Hinson’s soothing voice floats in with the first lines “I feel your heart beating next to mine / Keeping perfect time.” The song has a smooth quality while still keeping a country vibe. It’s an enjoyable song with a good message.
“Stones” is a quiet song with strong piano playing. It’s about how stones “mark our passage” throughout life, including birthstones and gravestones. The lyrics are incredibly touching and beautiful. “Scratch” is more upbeat song with a rock/country feel. It’s about leaving past relationships behind and being a relationship with one person. I really enjoy the line “Love made it easy to chose.”
The title track “Strong Medicine” has a smooth, blues feel to it throughout. The medicine Hinson discusses in the song is love. My favorite lyrics are: “Love is a habit / And all it takes is just a little taste / After you’ve had it / It’s something you’re always going to crave.”
Hinson’s voice on “Not You Again” has a raspy quality in parts that really worked well with the tone of the song. I particularly enjoyed the lyrics “Just when things are looking rosy / The blues show up again.” According to his official website, he wrote the song after testing positive for HIV. In the song the person he doesn’t want visiting him is actually a metaphor for the disease. It’s a powerful song and one of my favorites on the album.
“When you Give Up You’re Gone” is an inspirational song about being strong and not giving up. I’m fond of the refrain “’Cause when you give in you give up / And when you give up you’re gone.” Often inspirational songs feel cliché, but the message works in this song with Hinson’s emotional lyrics and voice.
“Distant Vision” is moving song that focuses on seeing the positive in the world. My favorite lines are: "Count our days / Not by hours / But by the way we live them all.”
“Now” is my favorite song on the album. Hinson’s vocals, the lyrics, the background singers, it all fits together to create a likable gospel, inspirational track. On the repeated lines “From now on / I’m living in the here and now,” listeners can feel the passion in Hinson’s voice. It’s emotional and genuine.
“Positive” is song about being positive about life, even when it’s difficult. It has strong lyrics, vocals, and a good beat. I found myself singing and humming along during the first listen. “Remember” has a rock feel and is catchy, though it feels a bit too long.
“Waiting At The Gate” is about his wife and how he will wait for her anywhere, including at the gates of heaven. It’s a sweet, slow song.
The album is filled with lyrically strong songs and diverse melodies. I enjoyed how the songs had different genre influences including rock, pop, folk, and country. Hinson’s a talented songwriter and singer. His voice is pleasing and has a smooth quality I find really refreshing because it’s very different from most country artists I’ve heard. My favorite songs on the album include “Now,” “Not You Again,” and “Stones,” but every song is unique in its own right and enjoyable. I recommend this album to anyone searching for inspirational, honest songs.
To listen to Strong Medicine, visit his official website .