|Rhythm Riot, Jeff Potter & The Rhythm Agents
Raucous Records RAUCD 119
At the age of 10 Jeff got his first drumkit and a lesson on how to play a two-finger boogie-woogie on the piano from Judy, a teenaged family friend. For many years down in his cellar, Jeff played that boogie-woogie fast and slow, and performed long Gene Krupa / Cozy Cole style solos on his drums. During 1956 and 1957 he bought every single rock & roll, rockabilly and rhythm & blues record he could afford.
Based in Northampton, Massachusetts, Jeff played in various recording bands for 12 years (including Al Anderson's Wildweeds) before writing, singing and performing his own songs, mostly in the 50's rock & roll style. He fronted two bands, The Contenders, then later Jeff Potter & The Rhythm Agents. He also plays the piano with New York rockabillys The Lustre Kings.
From 1998 to 2002 Jeff and Betsy-Dawn Williams played in a band called American Roadhouse together featuring a mix of rock & roll, R&B and rockabilly. In 2003 he played at the Rockin' Fifties Fest in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with The Lustre Kings. His recordings have been released by Nervous, Fury, Dynamite and Raucous Records. Jeff still plays his drums in the cellar.
The album "Rhythm Riot" is really incredible, it has the ingredients of many styles of American roots music, ranging from boogie woogie to rock 'n' roll to rockabilly to rhythm & blues. A magician on the piano, a wizzard on the drums and a good songwriter as well, all songs are self-penned originals. The album hits off with a steady boogie woogie rhythm on a song titled "Don't Stop Now", switching to rockabilly on "The Party" with great piano and guitar breaks (think Freddy 'Fingers' Lee).
The best is yet to come, the title song "Rhythm Riot" is something else. Pounding drums (Sandy Nelson style), complete with solo, and a twangy guitar (Duane Eddy style), this is a Jeff Potter original that will raise the hairs in your neck. As easy as pie, Jeff switches over to the blues on the touchy "How Come", and back to rock 'n' roll on "I Don't Wanna Go". The album is packed with American roots music with a lot of variety, energy and skill. You just gotta love it. At the end of the CD there's also a hidden bluesy track which sounds a bit like a John Lee Hooker jam session.
Jeff Potter & The Rhythm Agents are:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005
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