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Nervous Fellas (the)

in Reviews
Nervous Fellas - Born to be Wild - Nervous
Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild – Nervous

The Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild!

Nervous Records NERD056 [1990]
Real Gone Lover – Finally Met My Baby – Jealous Heart – I’ll Be Sorry – Get Outta this Town – Until You Came Home – Mon-Eyed – Born To Be Wild – Gimme Somethin’ Strong – Dateless Night – Evil Ways – Don’t Bug Me

This Vancouver quartet born out of the ashes of the Rockin’ Edsels and once featuring Ronnie Hayward on double bass released this album on Nervous records in 1990. The line-up at this time was Shaun Butch Murphy on Vocals, Mark Weldon on guitar, Pete Turland on doghouse bass and John Decan on drums. This is a very good and varied album, comparable in style to the Paladins, mixing powerful rockabilly (Real Gone Lover, Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild), Jumpin’ Rockabilly (Get Outta This Town, Jealous Heart, Until You Come Home, Dateless Night), heavy Blues (Finally Met My Baby, I’ll Be Sorry with tons of slide guitar), and some country tinged stuff (Evil Ways).
Though it’s never been reissued on cd, it’s possible to download it legally on musical platforms via Nervous.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Tommy Johnson

in Albums/IJKL/Reissues/Reviews

Tommy Johnson – 1928 – 1929

Tommy Johnson


DOCD-5001
Cool drink of water blues – Big road blues – Bye-bye blues – Maggie Campbell blues – Canned heat blues – Lonesome home blues (take 1) – Lonesome home blues (take 2) – Big fat mama blues – I wonder to myself – Slidin` delta – Lonesome home blues – Boogaloosa woman – Morning prayer – Black mare blues (take 1) – Black mare blues (take 2) – Ridin` horse – Alcohol and jake blues
Probably because he doesn’t have the same romantic aura around him as his homonym Robert, Tommy is not the Johnson that history, or more exactly the medias, remember.
His recording career was brief, only 17 titles all available here, but the quality was constant.
During two sessions, one for Victor (songs 1-8) and the other for Paramount (9 to 17) he recorded one of the most interesting, rich and unique work in term of Delta Blues, that’ll influence many generations after him (Howlin Wolf, Houston Stackhouse…). He was also one of the first to come with the “crossroad mythology”.
His voice is full of intensity especially on autobiographical pieces like “Canned heat Blues” or “Maggie Campbell Blues” (named after one of his wife) and can turn into a high pitched falsetto, sometimes close to yodel. He supports it with a solid guitar style inspired by Charley Patton. Some sides show him backed by a second guitar (Charlie McCoy) or a clarinet and a piano on Black Mare Blues.
Maybe the Paramount sides compared to the Victor recordings don’t fit your quality standards, which is not a surprise from the label (Paramount not Document), but make the effort and you’ll be rewarded ten times by the quality of the music you’ll hear.
Sadly Johnson’s bad temper and his alcoholic habits didn’t allow him to build a “serious” career, which I guess lead to more alcoholism. He lost his royalties gambling and drinking and died in extreme poverty in 1956.
His musical legacy is a must have for anyone who’s interested in Delta Blues and Blues in general.
Available here
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Kokomo Kings (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews

The Kokomo Kings – Too Good To Stay Away From The Kokomo Kings – Too Good to Stay Away From

 

Rhythm Bomb – RBR5848 [2017]

Too Good To Stay Away From – The River Turned To Steam – The River Turned To Steam – I Can’t Go Home Looking Like This – She’s Stealin’ Candy – Pillow Of Gold – When I Tried To Think – Girl From The Moon – I’m Your Plumber – Silicone Brain – Standing In The Cold Rain – A Wasted Day Is Forever Lost – You Need A Little Dirt (To Make The Grass Green)

Our favorite bluesmen from Scandinavia aka The Kokomo Kings  are back, not only with a new album but also with a new singer since Harmonica Sam more or less retired from the road. But don’t worry, the new boy Martin Abrahamsson perfectly fills the void and Sam is still present on this this album, singing three songs and playing harmonica too.

Well, what can I say about this band that you don’t already know ? The twelve songs, all originals written by bassman Magnus Lanshammarn, are all excellent with clever lyrics (I’ve seen her picking pockets in the welfare line / Stealing from the poor makes her feel fine / Tonight she’s going out for a special treat / Gonna feed the neighbour’s dog with poisoned meat) or more profound (You make in a day what you spend in a year (…) It doesn’t matter how much you have in the bank, you’ll die when you get too old.)

The music is top notch and groovy as hell, a perfect blend of Louisiana blues, swamp rock, Chicago blues and a dash of Rock’n’roll here and there.
This excellent album comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve perfectly illustrated by Henrique San.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

D.D. Kid Combo

in CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews/Singles

DD Kid Combo
DD Kid Combo

D.D. Kid Combo

Martin’s Garage ‎– STR-MGV-005 [2017]
Bad Luck Baby / Goodbye Baby

Coming from Martin’s Garage the label that gave us the excellent Star Time Playboys, here comes the D.D. kid Combo.
How do you like your blues? If you like it wild, mean, dirty and raw, if you like Hound Dog Taylor or modern artists like Pat Capocci, jump on this brilliant single (by the way, two songs are way too short).
With a full frontal attack of DD Kid’s guitar aptly supported by a excellent slide, an acoustic guitar and drums, these guys take no prisonners.
There’s quite a few excellent rockin’ blues combo on the scene right now, and judging by this single, DD Kid Combo are at the very top; I’m eagerly waiting for more stuff from this band.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Juke Joint Cruisers

in Albums/Contemporary artists/IJKL/Reviews

The Juke Joint Cruisers - s/t
The Juke Joint Cruisers – s/t

The Juke Joint Cruisers – s/t

Juke Joint Records
Hot Rod Guy – Juke Joint Jumpin’ – Nagging, Nagging – Road King – Tore Up – Diamond Ring – Your Love – Rhythm Rustler – The Last Petal – Latina Tina

The Juke Joint Cruisers come from Colorado and they are Randy Watson (guitar and lead vocals), Mike Boyce (double bass and lead vocals) and Lee Lippstrew (drums). This is their debut album and it’s been entirely recorded live which is the best way in my opinion to record this music. Produced and recorded by the band It’s a very solid album, featuring all original material. They have the good idea to keep it short (10 songs and 30 minutes), which avoids the temptation to include second choice material. All the songs here are first rate and varied. It also takes you back to the good old vinyl days a feeling reinforced by the Side A and Side B on the back cover. Their sound mixes rockabilly with rockin’ blues and the result is sure to appeal to fans of Lee Rocker, the Nervous Fellas and most of all the early Paladins. In addition you’ll also find more country oriented stuff like “Nagging, Nagging ”, latin beat (Latina Tina) and a Chuck Berry meets Link Wray and Duane Eddy instrumental (Rhythm Rustlers). No rockin’ album would be complete without a rockaballad and Boyce’s The Last Petal perfectly fills this void.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Joel Paterson

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews

joelpaterson2Joel Paterson – Handful of Strings

Ventrella
Speedin’ North – Twin Guitar Shuffle – Pensacola Rhythm – After You’ve Gone – Swingin’ Easy – Northern Gentleman – Callin’ the Cat – La Paloma – Flyin’ Low – Seven String Ride – Blue Steel Serenade – Mable’s Rock – Fender Freeze – King Freddie’s Blues

One thing is certain: Joel Paterson is a man of taste. So, when he decides to record an all instrumental album on which he plays all the instruments (he’s also a man of many talents) it doesn’t sound like all those sterile records that too often sound like a guitar method. He draws influences from all the guitar greats. The more obvious here being Les Paul and Buddy Merrill but it covers a wide spectrum of genre from the Jimmy Bryant tinged “Pensacola Rhythm” to the funky tribute to freddie King (King Freddie Blues) with jazz, rock’n’roll and plenty of Joel Paterson in between. And as usual with Ventrella the package is superbly designed. Highly recommended.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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