Hawaiian swing masters Big Kahuna & the Copa Cat Pack entertain you on 14 great songs that span the musical style spectrum. Included are the theme songs from the television series Hawaii Five-O and I Dream of Jeannie, each with new arrangements by Matt Catingub, and such priceless standards as Duke Ellington's 1932 hit "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" and "Avalon." This well-organized ensemble of professional instrumentalists outlines melody and harmony in swinging rhythmic arrangements and jams freely on such rousing numbers as "Shake Those Hula Hips" and "Fever." Joined by such great vocalists as Rosemary Clooney, Debby Boone, and the Waters (Julie, Maxine, and Orrin), and with Jennifer Lovejoy on baritone saxophone on selected titles, Big Kahuna & the Copa Cat Pack will have you up doing the lindy hop or just listening to the great instrumentalists.
Shake The Shudder is a product of !!!'s DIY punk roots presenting a harder edge lyrically and sonically, while incorporating trans-Atlantic electronic music influences. Regularly enlisting the aid of talented female vocalists to elevate to their sound, this new album is no exception with the inclusion of up and coming talents Lea Lea and Meah Pace showcasing "energetic breakout performances that only hints at what they do live." And Nic Offer is no easy frontman to keep up with on stage.
Shake Me Now is stripped-down, yet dense. There are musical and lyrical traces of the blues, bluegrass, folk, rock, soul, and classical music. Their songwriting stands out on the title track, "Shake Me Now" as well as the upbeat and hopeful "One My Way Tonight". In addition to their original songs, there are reinterpreted versions of the traditional blues number "Deep Ellum Blues", the traditional folk tune "Worried Man Blues", and Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere". One gets the feeling of being on a widescreen road trip through America's past and present, with multiple eras and traditions folding in upon each other. The result sounds familiar and road-worn, yet completely new a quality that Quiles & Cloud share with some of American music's greatest innovators.
Veteran harp man Pryor (who claims to be the first to amplify his harmonica) was still capable of some potent blues when he released this album in early 1999. Kicking off with a solo version of Faye Adams' "Shake a Hand" (its lyrics reworked heavily into the title track) that owes a huge debt to idol Sonny Boy Williamson II, Pryor settles into a comfortable groove with a tight little trio behind him consisting of Bob Stroger on bass, Billy Flynn on guitar and Jimmy Tilman on drums. His version of Hank Ballard's "Annie Had a Baby" is so radically different that it almost qualifies as an original, while his covers of Al Dexter's "Pistol Packin' Mama" and Sleepy John Estes' "Someday Baby" stay closer to the originals. The rest of the set features Snooky's great originals, with the minor-keyed "Headed South," "In This Mess," "Jump for Joy" and a nice remake of his "Telephone Blues" being particular standouts. Simple, no-frills production makes this a modern-day blues album that delivers the wallop of the old singles.