Sunday, December 2, 2018

Tohtori Lounamo (Finland) - No. 201

Tohtori Lounamo (Finland)

I'm not a big fan of cover versions. Most of the time. I accept it in Rock'n'Roll, Rockabilly and Jazz. And I even enjoy it in these genres. Exception: When a Dr. Feelgood or Wilko Johnson cover comes hopping along. I'm all for it then. There are a few bands in my collection that carry the Dr. Feelgood and Wilko Johnson flag proudly and I wouldn't want to miss one of them. Sure, it's not the real deal but they don't claim to be. I do grant one thing to all of them, they really try their best and in fact, most of them succeed at giving a good impression.

Tohtori Lounamo? Sorry? What did you say just now? Tohtori Lounamo! Until about two or three months ago, I had no idea, this band even existed. I believe I did a surfing session on Gypie Mayo and by some strange link came across this band and lo and behold, I see, that two of their three CDs are kind of a tribute to the Canvey four. Discogs is my next stop and I manage to get me a copy of "Pää Kylmänä".

This is an almost full fledged covers only CD (all Dr. Feelgood or Wilko Johnson), except for three songs, which seem to be originals. I don't hold this against them, but I did have a tunnel vision when listening to this album. A thought came to my mind, strange, I haven't heard about them before. It's not like I don't have my ear on the ground when it comes to my favourites. And even Teppo hadn't mentioned this band to me. Maybe he didn't know about them? Well, think again, of course he knew the band and was so kind as to send me their CD "Koukussa".

Sure, you know what Tohtori Lounamo are referring to with this covershot. Another ten (out of 12) tracks covering our heroes. Two songs are either an original or a traditional song. I'm not even starting to compare this Finnish band with their counterparts from Canvey Island, the DNA of the latter is too much ingrained in my thinking. Suffice to say, Tohtori Lounamo do a very good job and I know, I will enjoy both CDs in future.

The funny thing here is, the vocals are in Finnish. All other cover bands I know, have stuck to English lyrics. And, surprise surprise, it works, although Finnish does sound exotic in this context. Wether you want to check out Tohtori Lounamo (I believe their CDs are hard to come by nowadays) or any other Dr. Feelgood / Wilko Johnson cover band, your best bet is probably listening on Youtube (or try you luck on Discogs for physical media).



Saturday, November 24, 2018

Rockanites - Hoodlums In The Night - No. 200

Rockanites - Hoodlums In The Night

You can bet your bottom Euro/Swiss Franc/Dollar (pun intended!), that a new Rockanites CD is always welcome to any decent music buff. Just a few days ago "Hoodlums In The Night" made it to these shores (so to speak). Tuomas does speak of a slight shift in genres. Well, maybe slighty off Rockabilly to a more straight ahead R&B (British style). What's important to me, is, wether an album talks to me. Check!

Of the ten songs on offer, nine are originals written by Tuomas (and one is a cover version from a Finnish band called Cast Iron Arms). I happen to bunker some of their output and can only recommend them. Good choice of a cover! When I finished listening to the CD the first time, I read what Tuomas had said about the album (I always like to have a fresh mind and not be influenced at first sight) and it's funny how we can disagree and still like the exact same music. But it's really the same when I'm at a Scotch Single Malt tasting and we get to talk about the spirit in our glasses, wildly diverting opinions and still a lot of common ground.

The whole CD cries Dr. Feelgood and the style of British R&B they made so famous. Mind you, not every song is the Canvey Island four in disguise. But, "Ain't gonna beg" is Dr. Feelgood, pure and unadulterated from the opening riff to the finish line. If there's some Motörhead in there, and I'm no stranger to Lemmy and the guys, I don't hear it. I'll have to dig out the reference though, to see wether I missed the point.

I can't relate to "Drowned In Wine" since I don't touch the stuff. Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Guinness (and Lapin Kulta), these are my favorite tipples. Enough about my drinking habits. Throughout the songs I can hear references but I'm mostly not sure where they are coming from. This track caught me on the wrong foot first, but the reference is Wilko Johnson. Even Tuomas' guitar playing reflects that. You almost got me!

Too bad, the video for "Hip Shakin' Baby" didn't come to fruition. I'd like to have watched that piece. The song "You Own The Night" does indeed own a lot to P Paul Fenech and is very well executed. A very remarkable tribute to one of my (and Tuomas') musical heroes. Listening to the Rockanites CD again, while writing this review, half my record collection is flashing before my eyes. I've piled some work up for me (relistening to a lot of records).

Not sure about "Wild Ideas", when you listen to the track, there's the word "paradise" repeated several times. I'm not sure how one can phrase a single word, but it's left hanging in the air, just like a certain John Wilkinson did in one of his songs. Of course, there are influences everywhere and you learn from the best.

The last song "Awake In The Desert" is changing gear dramatically. An instrumental with touches of Jazz and Walking Blues. If I have to make a critical statement, it's here. In my opinion, the drummer should have laid the sticks to the side and use only brooms. The frame is much too delicate for sticks. Just my 2 Cents.

Excellent album and if Tuomas let's me know where one can buy this CD, I'll add a link, an e-mail address or whatever.



P.S.: Update November 28, 2018

Please search for The Rockanites on Facebook ( and send them a private message that you would like to buy their CD (I assume, the earlier releases are also still available).Or check Goofin Records for mailorder

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Rockanites - Helluva Job - No. 199

Rockanites - Helluva Job

Some time back, I got this new CD "Helluva Job" from the Rockanites. You can read what I had to say about their debut album further down below. The recording has been done in June 2017! Well, that's not to say I've been sitting on it for almost a year. You see, I'm scratching together some excuses! First let me say, this CD is on a par with "Great Shakes" and all songs are originals, mostly penned by Tuomas (with some third party input on a couple of tracks).

There's a slight line-up change compared to their previous outing, but it falls all into place. Before I go on, Tuomas sent me a letter together with the CD in which he claims that this is not strictly (my words) Rockabilly, R&B or something along these lines. He thinks of it as a Rock'n'Roll record. Forgive me, but I hear (mostly) Rockabilly in one form or the other. Even a track like "Boyfriend" has that certain 50's vibe. Maybe especially this track. Even if I agree with Tuomas, this one ain't Rockabilly, but it does breathe the air of the times. Could have been written in 1958 or thereabouts. A classic!

I always find it amazing when a band comes up with all original material, especially in the Rockabilly genre, where covers are the plat du jour. Nothing against a good presentation of a well known or not so well known classic, but this here is in another league. The reception of the album is a very coherent one. Well done lads! I've never seen the band live, but this is something on my to-do-list. The CD clocks in at around 35 minutes give or take.

As to the availability of the CD, I see on the www that some Finnish record stores are carrying the item. However, I think your best approach would be to contact Tuomas on the Rockanites Facebook website. Have a go at it, you know I'm serious about good music.



Friday, June 29, 2018

Pete Gage - Sweet Hearted Woman - No. 198

Pete Gage - Sweet Hearted Woman

A while ago Pete Gage released his new album "Sweet Hearted Woman" (available on his website I'm just the lazy bugger these days, so it's just now that I'll say a few words about the CD. A word of caution: I'm a Pete Gage fan. My words are not very objective. Just wanted to make this very clear.

One reason I like Pete's releases is the fact, that he doesn't work the same paths as he did with Dr. Feelgood. This is completely different and if you want pogo in the pit and your eardrums shattered, you better subscribe to a Norwegian folkdance channel. This here is yours truly sitting at home, choosing a dram of the best single malt in the house, sitting down, feet up and just enjoying a CD. It's relaxing and goes extremely well with a Bowmore (25 years) or an Ardbeg (10 years). You're losing track of time, especially if you have this on automatic replay.

What you get is some of the best songwriting this side of the musical spectrum. The songs meander between Blues and Jazz and convey a mood that's thoughtful and inverted. I say this on purpose. Yet this is not depressing, somehow you get to think about the meaning of life (42, in case you didn't know) and your mind drifts off a bit. I've very seldom heard an album which has such a physical attraction. You're involved with all your senses. And the musicianship is first rate.

Pete has just the voice to carry these songs and they are on the right side of justifying repeat listening. All these tracks have been written by Pete himself and it's a stellar performance of his. However, the other players are top notch as well. Just let me mention Sean McBride, who gives a certain interesting patina to the songs. But then, I'm deep into Jazz (amongst other things). The soundquality is just great. I don't think this is a recording that's been fiddled with until all life escapes from the tracks. Another one where you have to open your wallet, otherwise you're going to miss some great music.