Last week we got an email in our inbox from a very lovely lady named Kate, praising what we do with the website and the Beagle Sessions. Along with the praises there was a press release about a band that I never heard of. She asked me to read it and listen to the tunes if I had the time. At that moment it hit me, “oh fuck, this girl is being so nice to us, what if this band sucks? I don’t want to be the one to tell her, ah fuck me!!!!” But don’t be fooled, Kate was not just looking for a cheap way to give some crappy band some media attention. She knew what she was doing, she knew the band was good, real good, and I knew it after just one song. Thank you Kate!

The album opens with the 1930’s jazz song “I lost my gal from Memphis”. The song was originally composed by Peter De Rose, with lyrics by Charlie Tobias. Rollie and his boys give the song a small make-over with tremendous respect to the original wich ends up in a fun swinger. It puts a smile on your face and makes you want to dance with a pretty lady.

For the next song Rollie and his band slow it way down with the Charlie Patton classic “Elder Green Blues”. Where in the Patton version you hear a violin, I’m damn sure these guys used an accordion and it sounds just perfect. It adds to the sadness of the song. After the instrumental “Michigan Stomp” (an original I think) we head over to the traditional “Satan your kingdom must come down”, this song is best known in the Robert Plant version but I have to say I like this one better. It’s darker, more intense, you can feel something lurking in the dark and those minimal jazzy drum strokes combined with the controlled feedback make it one hell of a song!

We pick up the pace again with another original called “Speakeasy Rag”, it’s again an instrumental song in wich the bands shows how good they actually can play and control their instruments. Check out this video and judge for yourself. I was impressed.

After a little intermesso on organ we come to  another 1930’s popular swinger named “It ain’t right”, first recorded by Stuff Smith. Again the violin is missing like in the first recording, but what the boys do with the song makes up that feeling in a heartbeat. There’s something in Rollie’s singing style, he swallows the last letters of most words he sings, this would be something that would bother me with every other singer, but it works for him. Is it just the way he talks? I don’t know, but it sounds just right and makes this song even better. I included the video for this song at the end of the review, check it out!

“KC Moan” by the Memphis Jug Band is up next. By now I was wondering… “These guys play all covers, well most of the songs… I don’t like cover bands, I hate cover bands… Why am I doing a review for a fucking cover band?” You know why? Because they play them so good and with so much respect it doesn’t feel like it’s a cover. And they don’t play covers if you think about it, they play a song recorded before by an other artist in a time long gone. They are passing these songs on to the next generation, they are paying an homage to these old blues and jazz legends and I respect them for doing so.

The next homage is “James Alley Blues”, recorded by Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown in New Orleans on march 11th in 1927. It was a sad song back then, it still is now. While Mister Brown’s version is very slow, Rollie and his boys go for a more up tempo version, but it doesn’t take the “sad” out and that’s how it is to be.

The last song on the record is “Done Got Old” by David “Junior” Kimbrough. It’s the youngest song on the album apart from the originals and again the band nails it. Dirty, fast blues with a country feel this time and with awesome hand-claps in the background and amazing picking by Rollie.

I would call this album a history lesson that every person who likes blues, Jazz, roots or whatever “rock” music should listen to. I got to know so many great and long forgotten songs and artists while listening to these tunes. Is it original? No! Is it good? Hell yeah! Am I going to look different now upon cover bands? NO! Fuck them! Unless they do it like this, pay homage and don’t take the easy way out.

Picture by Peter Smith


		
	
	

Sunday, June 28th we had the pleasure of having them Carrie Nation boys over at our place. We did an interview and they played 3 songs in our back yard. Later that day they played a show at the Irish pub in Diest. After the show they crashed at our place, the Beagles sure loved it…

 

 

Waking up sunday morning was hard… Real hard… All this fun, drinking, and goofing of with old and new friends was getting to me. I’m only 34, but I’m sure as hell not 16 anymore. But hey, the show has to go on! Due to the fact I was having a hard time getting trough the day there is not as much video as I wanted. My sincere apologies for this.

Viva Le Vox kicked of the party at 1 PM, but for me personally,  they deserved a spot way higher on the schedule. I mean, this is party music, and 1 PM is to early to party… I’m not saying that there where bands that had to be lower on the schedule, it’s just… Aaarrgghhh fuck it! Viva le Vox kicks ass, that’s all.

Our buddy and good friend Lou Shields was up next and he always puts a smile on my face, on and of stage. There’s just something about him. He has a new album coming up, so keep your eyes open for that one! Oh and enjoy the dancing skills Cris from S.S. WEB is demonstrating next to the stage…

Sunday was going to be a little more traditional musical wise then the previous days and with Owen Mays, Jason booked the perfect guy to serve us some old school country and Honky Tonk tunes. We had been hanging out with Owen, well Owen had been hanging out with us at our camp, and he played us some songs the days before together with Jo from Black Cat Bone Squad during a late night jam session, so we made sure not to miss his set! I remember him walking up to camp on sunday morning with a smile from ear to ear with the great news that Liz Sloan would be joining him and his boys on stage for the entire set. And what a set it was…

The Hooten Hallers!!! The FUCKING HOOTEN HALLERS!!!! Holy Crow!!! Most folks had no idea who they where, but did they make new fans and friends, yes SIR! With John on guitar, Andy on drums and Kellie on bass sax they put down a totally original sound that grabs you by the balls and makes you dance. Could we describe them as Morphine on swamp gas? Maybe we can, but there is no need to compare them to any other band, these are The Hooten Hallers, and The Hooten Hallers are The Hooten Hallers… Hooten Hallers, I just love to say Hooten Hallers…

After this I was done filming, I was tired, I needed to relax my shoulders and my back. I did get to see some more good shows. But most of the time I used sunday to hang with friends and family. We hope to see you all again next year, and some of you in a two months in the states!

We told you about the Groezrock festival in an earlier post. Now that spring is upon us and the weather gods still piss on us, we thought it would be a good idea to warm your hearts and souls with a little list of bands that we think you should go see…

Social Distortion
FUCK YEAH! Social D is playing Groezrock! If there is one band combining punk rock and roots rock for years and years it’s Social Distortion. Mike Ness, the tattooed gentleman, embodies rock’n’roll and has been paying tribute to the legends for a long time. He became a legend himself for many folks out there.
We all know that lots of kids at the festival will not understand what these guys are all about, but as a wise man once said, “I don’t trust a hardcore kid that doesn’t like punk rock”. And to make this picture complete, they will perform their self titled album in its entirety, celebrating it’s 25 anniversary!

The Dwarves
“Hey Tom, do you remember the first time we got to see The Dwarves”? A good friend asked me this a couple of months ago, we where looking at the Groezrock line-up…
Do I remember? Do I remember?? Do I fucking remember??? I still wear the scars on my body! My god that was a crazy show… If you like your punk rock politically correct stay far away from The Dwarves, they will fuck up your little PC brain and make you run away, screaming for mommy! If you like booze, drugs and tits, this band is for you!

Iron Reagan
I first saw the name of this band on a cap Jayke Orvis was wearing at Muddy Roots last year I think. It just stuck… The moment I got into our motel room on monday after the festival I went online to check out this name. Oh boy was I glad I did! I think, if not for Inny, I would have destroyed that whole room as a one man moshpit! Holy Crow, these guys kick you back to the 80’s hardcore/thrash sound and do it so fucking good! Get ready for the pit, I hope you make it out alive…

The Smith Street Band
If after all the noise, chaos and violence in the pit you need to take a rest, but you still want to see and hear some good music, go see these guys. NO, we’re not talking about some teenage-girl-fantasy-poppunk-boy-band.
The Smith Street Band is an excellent folk punk band from Australia. Don’t worry, there will be no treehugging, just good music…

Toxic Shock
More thrash? YES! MORE THRASH!!!! If the USA can have Iron Reagan, we can have Toxic Shock! Fuck all y’all! That’s it… Go and support local bands, fight cancer and stay strong!

Refused
Do you need a reason to go see Refused? C’mon, it’s Refused… You don’t need one, you just go…

Agnostic Front
Pioneers! And still kids throw shit at them online. I would love to see one of those internet warriors do that in real life. Fuck ’em, Gotta Go See Agnostic Front!

OFF!
If there is one band that you ever need to see when loving hardcore or punk, this is that band. Get drunk, take drugs and fight the system! Or stay sober and hug a cop… (just kiddin’ about the drugs…)

The Interrupters
Get ready to Skank your Ska bone! Hailing from L.A. The Interrupters are ready to bring us some catchy ska punk which bears the approval of Tim Armstrong, and if that’s not enough… Go fu… You know what, I don’t care, I’ll be dancing!

Your Highness
These guys from Antwerp have no place at Groezrock you would think. Their heavy sludge sound is not something you would expect at a punk rock festival, but I’m sure they will prove you wrong when you go see them. Heavy as fuck and an in your face attitude, what more do you want?

Maybe this video will convince you how hardcore they are…

For all your Groezrock info: www.groezrock.be

 

Hailing from Asheville, North Carolina, Skunk Ruckus is a band that according to their webpage blends elements of old time music with punk, as so many other bands claim to do these days. I don’t care if there’s a million of these bands out there, as long as they are all as good as these guys. The punk influence is minimal, but nicely done. Even the typical old time music is minimal, well yeah, they use a washboard and banjo, but it doesn’t sound like they are trying to be this 1930’s band gone punk… Where most bands stay far away from electric guitar and bass, Skunk Ruckus embraces them to give their sound that extra kick.

An important aspect of this band and therefore this album is Mr. Jim Daddy’s vocals. Nick Cave comes to mind more then once when I hear him sing, and that’s a huge compliment.

“Billy Mac” kicks the album in first gear and takes you on a wild ride with a homicidal maniac and sets the tone for the rest of the album. Dark storytelling, creepy vibes and great musicianship. Next up is “Pretty Little Things” and here’s that Nick Cave vibe for the first time. Girls hold your men tight, dance with him and when you look into his eyes… You know you’re fucked… He’s a killer…

“The Devil Must Be Beating His Wife” is a great uptempo song that will get every crowd rocking like fools. In Belgium we say “it’s carnaval in Hell” when the sun is shining and the rain is coming down at the same time, but I like this phrase way more.

Rolling into “Darling Corey” Skunk Ruckus upholds the tempo and delivers a great version of this traditional song about love, loss and moonshine. Before you know it there’s a “Mosquito” buzzing around your head and as the real little bloodsucker this song is irritating, but that scratch after the bite can be so rewarding, doesn’t make sense, I know, just listen…

As the album moves on with “Hello” we come to “You let me Stay”, a balladesque song that once again proves that for every stupid drunk there is a girl dumb enough to take him in. Thank you girls, we try, we realy do… “Tear It Down” is also a traditional, but wrapped in a punk/rockabilly blanket with a great kazoo part that will put a huge smile on your face.

I think that “Little Margaret” can best be discribed as a gothic country song, it’s eerie, dark, building up, waiting to explode, waiting, waiting… If they could get Lonesome Wyatt to record this song with them, this would be an instant classic. Don’t get me wrong, the song is fantastic, but listening to it, I could just hear Jim and Wyatt sing this together. “Zombie Love Song” sounds like an old psychobilly song on your recordplayer at the wrong tempo. And even then it sounds cool…

By now you should have figured out that I realy like this album and I’m sure most of our readers will too. I hope they get the opportunity to show all of you what they are about and make you dance, drink and party like crazy.

Check out the album here:

http://skunkruckus.bandcamp.com

Order the album here:

https://www.facebook.com/SkunkRuckus

 

Roots music, punk rock, real music by real people…

old style music nights