Dave Stuckey & the Rhythm Gang

Dave Stuckey - Get A Load of This - HMG
Dave Stuckey – Get A Load of This – HMG

Dave Stuckey & the Rhythm Gang – Get a Load of This!

HMG 3010 [2000]
Brand New Love ~ You Better Wake Up Baby ~ They Did The Boogie ~ Nobody’s Sweetheart ~ I’ll Take My Old Guitar ~ Pick-A-Rib ~ Whose Honey Are You ~ Coyote Blues ~ You Shoulda Thought Of That ~ Lookin’ Around ~ Kansas City Kitty ~ Hitch My Wagon ~ Some Of These Days ~ Beauty Is As Beauty Does

This album is as close to any Western swing band from the golden era as you can get today. As a true lover and connoisseur, Dave Stuckey (formerly of the Dave and Deke Combo) gathered an impressive ten-piece band featuring Jeremy Wakefield on steel, Whit Smith and Dave Biller on guitars, T. Bonta on piano, Elana Fremerman and Eamon McLoughlin on twin fiddles, Stanley Smith on clarinet, Bob Stafford on trombone, Lisa Pankratz on drums and either Kevin Smith or Jake Erwin on bass. Together or separately, this fine aggregation have played with Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, the Lucky Stars, Kim Lenz, the Hot Club Of Cowtown, the Asylum Street Spankers, High Noon, andRonnie Dawson (and more). Impressive, isn’t it? Needless to say, they swing like hell. This is the perfect vehicle for Dave Stuckey’s effortless and relaxed vocals (à la Jack Teagarden).

The set list displays the band’s ability to blend the old and the new. It features covers like Adolph Hofner’s I’ll Keep My Old Guitar, Benny Goodman’s Pick-A-Rib, Johnnie Lee Wills’ Coyotte Blues, and standards like Whose Honey Are You, Nobody’s Sweetheart and Some Of These Days, made popular in Western swing by Leon Selph, Bob Wills and Milton Brown. But it doesn’t stop there. The album also boasts five of Stuckey’s originals that are so good it’s hard to tell whether they’re from 1946 or 2000, showcasing the band’s unique sound and ability to keep the Western swing tradition alive.

Billy Horton’s flawless production is the cherry on top, adding to the confusion (there’s no need to say it’s been recorded live in the studio). His meticulous attention to detail and commitment to capturing the band’s energy and authenticity in the studio are evident in every track.

If you don’t dance to this record, you must be dead!

davestuckey_dinahDave Stuckey & the Rhythm Gang – Dinah ep

Goofin records GREP213
Woah Babe – Dinah – Twin Guitar Special – Did Anybody Mention My Name?

The songs of this ep were recorded during the same sessions that gave “Get A Load Of This”. Woah Babe! and Dinah are first rate western swing. Biller, Smith and Wakefield have plenty of room to express themselves on Bob Wills’ Twin Guitar Special. The last song is a swingin / rural bop version of Dave and Deke’s Did Anybody Mention My Name with superb twin fiddles reminiscent of Spade Cooley. Great.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read the interview with Dave Stuckey here.

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