|Jukebox Drive, Mitch Woods & The Lazy Jumpers
El Toro R&B 206
Mitch Woods, for 20 years he made quite a name in the blues/jump scene. He has released numerous albums and worked with legends such as Earl King and John Lee Hooker, James Brown, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Blasters and The Neville Brothers to name a few. He gets his inspiration from the late 40's, early 50's and he takes it to the next level. First being the great piano player, but later on developed his voice and became a bandleader. So, this man can play the piano like a madman and can sing like a Rocker! You mix these two together and you will end up with someone like Mitch Woods. In 2007 he did even get a nomination for Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year Award at the Blues Awards in Memphis.
Presented by the Blues Foundation this is one of the highest achievements a blues musician can earn. Mitch Woods was touring in Europe and stopped by in Barcelona to team up with The Lazy Jumpers, one of the finest gang of blues and jump musicians in Spain. Together with the Lazy Jumpers he recorded the 12 tracks of Jukebox Drive for El Toro Records. The sound of this CD of Mitch Woods and The Lazy Jumpers is like the Jump 'n' Jivin', pumping 'n' poundin' and Rock 'n' Rollin' band of the late 40's, early 50's. You must add a healthy dose of Rhythm and Blues, a pompin' piano, Boogie Woogie and a little Jump 'n Blues... Are you getting it?? Mitch Woods has written six out of the twelve songs on this album, but the covers go really well with his own songs. I would say it's a good mix.
Okay then, lets get a few notes out of this CD. It starts with the title song "Jukebox Drive", a cool song in the style of a early 50's rap-song (did they have rap that time??). Well, you've heard a fifties rap and you take a drink or two..., then "Drunk" come through your speakers. This a catching melody, simple but very nice! If you are sober we go up-tempo with "Boppin' the boogie", after this we stay at the boogie but now slow: "Blue Light Boogie" a more jazzy style.
"Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man" is the song where the man gets his paycheck and he sure wants to know that!! Did you ever had a late night with a lot of boose???, well, "Blues Hangover" comes familiar? Listen to this, what a voice from Mr. Woods!! What a piano and what a Blues Harp!! That's surely something my cousin Charles would love! Next is what my cousin and I love to do: "Boogie Woogie Bar-B-Q", food is good, drinks are fine, music is perfect. I love the sax in this song. If you had enough to drink and eat then you can now sit back and listen to "Tipitina", originally from Roy Byrd and Proffessor Longhair. In my opinion inferior to the rest of the CD.
A nice cover from John Lee Hooker is next on the menu, "Boom Boom" is it's name. Most of us will know this great Blues song. Something completely different is "Parchman Farm". Influenced from the Jazzscene with some Rhythm & Blues and a little Jump an' Jive. Mix this and you'll got a great balad, with again that great sax. "Swell Lookin' Babe" is written by Mitch himself and he sings about... well what's the title says? Right, a swell lookin' babe, a hell of a woman, you may wish you see her every day! Add some Rock n Roll to it and your day can't go wrong. And if you don't see her every day then you can dance to the last Boogie Woogie on this album. With some poundin' and pompin' piano play and a real steady beat from the Lazy Jumpers and some guy named Dani Perez that's gone wild with his saxophone this must be "Mitch's Boogie". The only instrumental on this CD and a great one too! A must have for all those Rhythm and Blues lovers!
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Reviewed by Rockin'Kees, 2008