Monday, 30 March 2009

Kingcats – Back on Track

Kingcats – Back on Track
Foot Tapping FT069

Track listing: Lucky Night, I Don’t Care If You Love Me, Don’t Come Knockin’, Sea Cruise, If You Only Knew, I’m Counting On You, I Ain’t Givin’ Up, A Mess of Blues, Break Up, Your True Love, I Got Stung, Milk Train Boogie.

I was so impressed with the Bill Crittenden CD that I had to look into the Kingcats to get more of that voice. I know Back On Track has been out for about a year but most of the stuff I review here has been out for 50 odd years, so what the hell. In woman terms, this album ain’t old enough to be a MILF!!

The Kingcats are the afore-mentioned Crittenden on rhythm guitar and vocals (and what vocals they are), Gabriel Allen on lead guitar, Calvis Kush on bass, Kevin Bulford on drums and Rusty Lupton (who sounds like an Elvis movie character) on piano.

A quarter of the dozen songs are originals, including the great opener Lucky Night, a rocker with a couple of piano solos. Don’t Come Knockin’ is a groovy slowie and the CD closer, Milk Train Boogie is piano boogie instrumental. Surprisingly, there’s a couple of lessor known Raul Malo numbers, I Don’t Care If You Love Me, a tasty slab of melodabilly that gives Brittenden plenty of scope to play with the lyrics. If You Only Knew is a piano driven bopper that the Mavericks once excelled at.

The 50’s covers are mainly Memphis based, although we start down in New Orleans for Frankie Ford’s Sea Cruise, which is given a rockabilly treatment which I didn’t like on first hearing, but sounds more hypnotic with each subsequent listen. Ben Hewitt’s I Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothin’ is more laid back than the original and reminded me a bit of James Intveld.

There’s a trio of Elvis covers, with I’m Counting On You being a beautiful version that confirms the quality of Crittenden’s voice. A Mess of Blues (love the understated bass) and a sterling I Got Stung don’t exactly let the team down either. Break Up moves along nicely and the guitar and vocals are top notch, producing a great version that would make Charlie Rich and Ray Smith proud. Ditto, Your True Love which would have had the approval of the Perkins boys.

I love this guy, he’s my new Paul Ansell.

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