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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

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes

in Albums/CD/Contemporary artists/Reviews
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes - Dealing with my blues
Nico Duportal & his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Dealing with my blues

Rhythm Bomb Records ‎– RBR5844 [2016]
Don’t You See – I Know The Rules – Now Hush – The One To Blame – I Will Unfriend You – Mess And Chaos – Benzola Ascensor – Sometimes – Brand New Day – Junior’s Mambo – Soul Patch – Long Way To Go – Mess And Chaos (Acoustic Bonus Track)

Nico Duportal,French ace guitar player and singer, is not the kind of guy to rest on his laurels. One year after the excellent Guitar Player (that I hope you all own) he releases a brand-new platter that is even better. Once again, the Rhythm Dudes (Pascal Mucci on drums, Alex Bertein on baritone, Thibault Chopin on upright bass, Sylvain Téjérizo on tenor and Olivier Cantrelle on piano and organ.) are here to provide the perfect background to let the many talents of mister Duportal shine.

While his previous album was almost 100% rhythm’n’blues, “Dealing With My Blues” expands his musical horizons and shows the influence of many other genres, including a heavy dose of Soul with, terrific idea, the use of an organ (and if you like Jimmie Va. There’s someTilt a Whirl band, you’ll be delighted) Mambo too with Junior’s mambo penned by  Tim Lelegems ex-Fried Bourbon and Shakedown Tim and the Rhythm Revue, a band recently produced by Duportal. There’s also a bit of of surf (Soul Patch), a hint of Calypso (the One to Blame) and more modern things like Mess and Chaos (that Don Cavalli co-wrote) that shows that Duportal is not a “revival” guy and that his music is not a piece of museum.

All songs are originals mostly penned by Duportal but bass player Thibault Chopin composed two (and co-wrote another). In addition to Junior’s Mambo Tim Lelegems co-wrote I will Unfriend You (facebook friends beware!) and last but not least French blues legend Benoit Blue Boys penned Benzola Ascensor an instrumental on which he also plays harmonic (by the way Nico will appear on Benoit Blue Boy’s forthcoming album, a tribute to French Rock’n’rollers of the of the fifties like Mac Cak.)

Buy it here or if you order from France here.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes - Guitar Player
Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes – Guitar Player

Rhythm Bomb Records  – RBR5800 [2015]
When I’m Gone – Lost In The Game – Polish Woman – Oh Baby – Can’t Afford To Lose Her – She Knows How – Real Good Lovin’ Tonight – Big Mary’s – Guitar Player – Oh Oh – Josh & Slim – Much Later – Polish Woman (bonus track, unreleased version)

If you dig 50’s black rhythm’n’blues, stop what you’re doing right now and run to your local record shop – if it still exists – or go to Rhythm Bomb’s website to buy Nico Duportal’s amazing fourth album. When you listen to it, you’d swear that someone has unearthed a lost recording made for Peacock or Specialty and put it on cd.
The last time I had the same level of enthusiasm for a similar artist was at the turn of the millenium when I listened to Nick Curran’s debut album.
Like Curran, Duportal has the whole package: the voice, a guitar style in which one can hear the influences of Tiny Grimes, T. Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown and Johnny Guitar Watson and the songs (and he even has the look!). Six out of 12 are originals he wrote or co-wrote and double bass player Thibaut Chopin wrote another one. The cover are well selected coming from the catalog of Jackie Brenston, Titus Turner, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Eddie Bo.
One word has to be said about the Rhythm Dudes without whom this album wouldn’t be such a success. The rhythm section (Olivier Cantrelle on piano, Pascal Mucci on drums and Chopin on bass) keeps a steady beat whith precision and swing (yes, both!) while the horns (Alex Bertein on baritone saxophone and Arnaud Desprez on tenor) are groovy, juicy and hot.
A must have.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild!

in Albums/Contemporary artists/MN/Reviews
Nervous Fellas - Born to be Wild - Nervous
Nervous Fellas – Born to be Wild – Nervous

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

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