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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Swingin In The Swamp. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swingin In The Swamp. Show all posts

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Kat Kings - Swingin' In The Swamp - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Swingin' In The Swamp, from The Kat Kings and it does swing! Opening with hot potato, When I Say Jump, Kevin McQuade has this band hopping with his super lead vocals and tight lead guitar work, backed by Teddy Leonard on guitar and vocal, Chuck Keeping on drums and vocal, John Dymond on bass and Wayne Dagenais on keys. Great start. Up beat emphasis and walking bass work on Poppin At Party Time really sets it out with cool piano work from Degenais and McQuade plays bold guitar strokes. Nice. On B Flat Kat, a cool boogie woogie, the band keeps the groove rolling without a hitch cranking out intensity. On easy loper, I Work For You, the band takes a little break and Dagenais breaks out the organ giving the track nice balance. Hot rocker, Juke Joint Jimmy, has a great beat, solid piano and some hellacious hot guitar riffs. Excellent! Two stepper, Before I Found Him, has a JJ Cale feel with a rocky bluesy country pop sound. Cool. Ridin In Style is a really cool track with a 50's rock sound. I really like it with it's Carl Perkins style. Ballad, I'm Just A Shadow, is nicely composed and executed with McQuade up front and smooth key work by Dagenais' organ under the melody. Jimmy Rogers like, Til it Feels Alright, has a cool Chicago sound with primary soloing by Dagenais on piano. McQuade's vocals carry the bulk of the track with firm work by Keeping on drums. I Got The Fuse has a really cool "swampy" feel with a sassy guitar solo and nice guitar backing by Leonard. Latin influenced, Late Night Thing, is spiced up by Keeping's drum work and a nice clean piano solo by Degenais. McQuade throws down a nice guitar solo giving the track a beefier flavor. Wrapping the release is a boogie cool rocker, Baby You Can't Drink. I think this is one of the best tracks on the release with flashy guitar and piano and some of McQuade's best vocals and well and a great hook. Excellent!

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Friday, June 10, 2016



Following in the traditions of rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, country and rhythm & blues, Toronto's The Kat Kings deliver their sophomore album on June 10, 2016

Available on iTunes and Radio Submit

Listen to "Juke Joint Jimmy" on Soundcloud

"A high octane record that has nothing to offer other than the message that the party better keep going, this jump blues/rockabilly roots flavored set was made for good times." - The Midwest Record

Led by vocalist and guitarist Kevin McQuade, The Kat Kings released their debut album The Winning Hand in 2011 to critical acclaim and quickly became a favourite among DJs in Canada. A cross-country tour was underway when McQuade was sidelined with news of his daughter’s near-fatal traffic accident. Plans for gigs and promo for the album came to a grinding halt and the devoted family man headed home. "All of a sudden touring to support a new record didn't seem that important”, McQuade recalls.

In this story of second chances, McQuade and The Kat Kings have outdone themselves on the 13 original songs that make up Swingin’ In The Swamp. With swing being the tie that binds jump blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country and rockabilly music together, The Kat Kings deliver what can be described as “bluesabilly” on Swingin’ In The Swamp. The album opens with the danceable numbers “When I Say Jump” and “Poppin’ At Party Time”. “B Flat Kat” is a rockabilly gem complete with doghouse bass. The love song “I Work For You” was inspired by Wilson Pickett. “I wrote this song for my wife”, says McQuade. “You have to work hard to keep the home fires burning!” The rollicking “Juke Joint Jimmy” is the true story of a sharkskin-suited patron of the legendary Toronto watering hole Grossman’s Tavern. On the swampy, gospel-infused “Before I Found Him” McQuade takes a darker turn. “I wrote this song about a guy on death row. They interviewed him on TV before his execution and asked him if he had found God. He said he wished God would have found him before he found God”.

The upbeat “Ridin’ In Style” follows the familiar theme of hot cars, hot women and a fistful of money to enjoy it with. “I’m Just A Shadow” is a soulful ballad of love lost. Gritty and dark, “It Came From The Swamp” was written in about 20 minutes while McQuade was sitting vigil in the hospital with his daughter. “Til It Feels Alright” is about the things that folks sometimes do that feel wrong and yet oh so right at the same time, is followed by the bluesy “I Got The Fuse”. A straight-ahead New Orleans style rumba, “Late Night Thing” details a man in love who can't get a handle on the girl he loves until it's late in the night. The final track is the rockin’ “Baby You Can't Drink”.

In addition to the exceptional vocals and guitar playing from bandleader Kevin McQuade, The Kat Kings are comprised of an award-winning cast and “who’s who” on the Canadian blues and roots scene including the album’s producer Teddy Leonard (Fathead, The Maple Blues All Stars) on additional guitars, John Dymond (Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Bruce Cockburn, k.d lang) on bass, Chuck Keeping (Big Wreck, Fathead, Suzie McNeil) on drums, and Wayne Dagenais (Joel Johnson) on keys. The album also features Fathead’s singer John Mays on three tracks.

Swingin’ In The Swamp is an unparalleled album filled with originality, thought-provoking lyrics and outright good times destined to elevate the band to wider acclaim and recognition among fans of rockabilly, blues and soul.