Howlin’ Ric & The Rocketeers
WAITIN’ BY THE DANCEFLOOR
Rock & Roll is Here To Stay, Courtesy of Yorkshire’s Finest Purveyors!
‘Happenstance’ is a weird thing!
A month ago, my brother was asking about the different types of music I review and I casually mentioned that ‘I hardly ever got to hear Good Ole Rock & Roll’; and just before he left I checked my e-mails and there was this very album from Yorkshire’s finest purveyors of Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues and even Swing; waiting to download! #Spooky
Before I dive right in; I have to tell you that ‘this type of music’ receives more nit-picking complaints than everything else put together! The lovers of Rock & Roll and all it’s offshoots are very, very protective of their niches and when I get the minutiae wrong …….. Oh Boy are they quick to tell me.
Opening track; the red hot Our Lovin’ Days are Through gets the party started with nods and winks to classic singers Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent on a break-up song that will have both protagonists dancing the night away as soon as the tears dry.
This is followed by Ric showing his range by metaphorically dropping down onto one knee to actually croon I’m Coming Home; and there won’t be a dry in the house when you hear this for the first time.
I’ve seen and heard some stinkers over the years from singers and bands ‘attempting’ Rock and Roll; but just looking at their photos, shows you that Howlin’ Ric & The Rocketeers are indeed the Real Deal and as authentic as anyone can be in the 21st Century; and their rabble rousing anthems Hard To Please, Leg Shakin’ Mama and Shake It show that these cats know their history but can add their own distinctive swagger to a style of music that was first in vogue when their Grandparents were hoppin’ and Boppin’ on a Saturday night.
While the high energy songs are generally the most memorable here; not least because they have had me shaking my own tail-feather in the kitchen at one time or another; but it’s the bands slower smoochier songs that I’ve actually fallen head over heals in love.
Take My Hand will make even the coolest of be-quiffed cats swoon, as Ric goes all ‘Dion DiMucci’ as the band delve deep into the sweet end of the love song canon; and when Ben Powling slides in his sax solo you will find yourself holding your breath so as not to miss a heartbreaking note.
Songwriters never fail to astound me; as I’m constantly staggered that after all these years and millions of individual songs they can still come up with new ideas and twists on hoary old themes that make you think Rock Music must have been invented last Thursday.
Here Howlin’ Ric finds something special in the unrequited love song, Joan Glover that made me check out the label to see who wrote it; and it was he! It was similar with the two songs that are squabbling for the title of RMHQ Favourite Song; the fragile and beautiful ballad Whatever Happened To That Girl has been a contender since Day #1; but the good time Jive of Hard To Please, which may or may not be dedicated to Mrs. Magpie in the sleeve notes has slowly won me over; and it finally takes the title after a hard fought battle.
This cracking and crackling album also gives me the opportunity to moan and groan about one of my biggest gripes …….. Covers Bands! While I have no issue with people making a living in this lucrative market; it’s the fans who will tell you that “I love Rock & Roll/Rockabilly/Country/Blues” or whatever; when what they mean is “I own two Various Artist albums from K-Tel” and “I am prepared to travel up to two miles to see a Covers Band play for free in a pub on a Friday night.”
Show some gumption and discover the delights of exciting young bands like Howlin’ Ric & The Rocketeers who write their very own songs and are the ones who really are keeping the Rock & Roll Flame alive!!!