Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr still ‘Alive and Kicking’

Yes, we know that it’s no longer ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84 – the halcyon heyday of Scottish New Wave act Simple Minds. But the band — who will soon be releasing an extensive greatest-hits collection — is still just as vital as ever, judging by its sweeping 2009 effort “Graffiti Soul.” Which, strangely enough, didn’t get a real chance stateside.

But rather than twiddle his thumbs and moan in despair, band frontman Jim Kerr decided to get busy on his own. He didn’t want to start a new band or anything like that, he’s said. So he asked his longtime guitarist cohort Charlie Burchill to sit this one out, while he conceived his first true solo album as Lostboy.

And the album clarifies everything in the title alone — “Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr.” Already a hit in the UK, it arrives in the US on July 19, in a deluxe edition that boasts three bonus tracks not included overseas: “Mr. Silversmith,” “Karma To This Rain” and “Sad Stone Child.”

It was produced by recent Simple Minds knob-twiddler Jez Coad, and features a bare-bones ensemble of Coad on guitar/keyboards, Charlie Jones on bass, all rocking to the backbeat of veteran Simple Minds drummer Mel Gaynor. And if you forgot Kerr’s enduring legacy, two quick touchstones: the single standards “Alive And Kicking” and the “Breakfast Cub”-immortalized “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” recently re-immortalized by “American Idol” winner David Cook.

So maybe in ’11, ’12, ’13. ’14, Kerr will finally be in the glittering-prize spotlight again.

Follow his solo exploits at www.lostboyaka.com.

American IdolartsBackstage PassPop Music & JazzSan Francisco

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