I literally stumbled upon this band. A friend of mine posted a link to about them on Facebook in August. They opened up for Coldplay during their Summer 2009 North American tour and so the Los Angeles times covered them when Coldplay was in town. I was intrigued by the article, so I tracked down this CD on iTunes. I am sure glad I did. As a Blasters fan since 1980, I think this is the best new roots rock group to come out in the last 30 years.
This sibling trio is a very unlikely group to be creating this type of uniquely American music. First of all, they are quite young (between 16 and 21 years of age). Secondly, they hail from north London, not exactly a bastion of historical American music. But their passion for this vintage style of music combined with a rich family musical heritage (their parents also play in their band) and obvious talent and dedication enable them to create a sound that few can match.
The album opens with a cover of Canned Heat's Going Up the Country. Since this song is more often associated with the Woodstock Festival and the 1960's, it is a somewhat surprising choice for an album like this. But Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis give it a treatment that places it firmly in a 1950's sound, complete with double bass, accoustic piano, and harmonica. Here is the video version of this song:
The other songs are a collection of swing, jump blues, and even Hawaiian flavored rock. Each sibling plays multiple instruments including guitar, piano, banjo, steel guitar, harmonica, ukulele, drums, accodian and xylophone! Their love for vintage music extends to vintage recording equipment. This self-recorded album used all analog equipment from the 40's and 50's. You can get a flavor for these passions and talents in the documentary We Dreamed America, which featured footage of the three siblings in their home recording studio.
My favorite song on the album is a cover of Muddy Water's I Got My Mojo Working. This is a great song to work with and having it sung by a female lead is a unique twist on this standard blues number.
All three siblings share lead vocal duties and they are each featured playing unique instruments on various songs. Two songs, Honolulu Rock-a Roll-a and Swinging Hawaii utilize ukulele. Another song, Hillbilly Music, features banjo. Of all the unusual instruments they employ, I like the xylophone used in the 40's flavored (Baby) Hold Me Tight the best. There is a rich diversity of music on this album all exploring the uniquely American sounds developed in the 1940's and 1950's.
If you are a fan of blues, swing, and early rock-and-roll, you will not be disappointed with this album.
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