As a whole, the country music world is not known for its socially progressive sentiments, which is what makes Jimbeau Hinson’s story so unusual — how many successful country songwriters are open about being bisexual or HIV-positive? Hinson has written hits for The Oak Ridge Boys, Steve Earle, Brenda Lee, Patty Loveless, John Conlee and Kathy Mattea over the years, but he’s just now getting around to releasing an album of his own. Though it definitely contains elements of contemporary country, Strong Medicine is more of a singer-songwriter affair. “Dance of Life” has the sort of crossover sound that could fit on country or pop radio, while the haunting “Not You Again” leans more toward the blues. “Positive” plays on the double entendre of the title: Beginning with the line “Secrets keep you in the dark,” the song explores the importance of keeping a positive attitude while struggling with the challenge of being HIV-positive. Throughout the album — particularly on the piano ballad “Stones” — Hinson’s voice sounds like a slightly more Nashville Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens).
3rd & Lindsley
Show: 5:30 PM