Pete Gage & Doctor’s Order – Down By The Lakeside (CD)
I believe Teppo did tell me about this gig on May 16, 2009 in Järvenpää (Finland). Way back when. What I didn’t know, that there was a recording of those proceedings gathering dust in his archive. And just this has been made available in a very limited quantity on CD. Get it while you can at Blues-Shop.fi FAMCD25. Well worth it and a must-have (before I forget to mention this).
Talk about a neutral reception of this CD. Certainly not, throw your even handed approach out of the window (and don’t forget to open it before you do so). Who says you have to be fair and impartial? Urban myths, that’s all. When I heard of the existence of this recording, I did have skyhigh expectations and I knew that no matter what, these would 100 % be met. And let me say, I was not disappointed. Disappointment didn’t even come into the equation and a balanced view is for cowards.
Pete Gage and Doctor’s Order take a place at the front row when it comes to my music taste, there’s no doubt about that. I didn’t expect that my attention span, by listening to this CD, was so torn between Pete and the band. It took a while for me to get settled and after a few run throughs I was able to enjoy the offerings as they were meant to be. First I mostly listened to Pete and had 99 % of my concentration on his vocals. Next I listened to the band. What were they up to? Don’t get me wrong, they are a match if I ever heard one. This is just me, it’s hard to split your loyality, when you’re in my shoes, with both of these artists.
What can I say about the music? The track selection is geared towards Pete Gage (of course) ca. Dr. Feelgood, even though Doctor’s Order are no stranger to these songs (see full list in the picture below). The band is up to the task and delivers a tight set, really setting the stage for Pete. Uncompromising, solid, on fire and just plain fantastic. Well done Kimmo, Archie and Teppo, you really shine. And Pete himself, just great, so bloody great! The way I do remember him from the days way back. To me, his way is very distinct and carries over to his solo outings as well. This set is more of his rocking side, while the later solo stuff is more the bluesy and ballad stuff. But the voice is there, make no mistake.
Listening to Doctor’s Order without any of their original songs in their set is a bit strange, but doesn’t distract at all. They do lean in with their combined weight and are always on top. Track 13 „Sweet Disposition“ is a joint venture (Gage, Hämäläinen, Nättilä, Tuominen). The CD gets a double thumbs up on all counts.
A sad point: Kimmo „Mighty Man“ Oikarinen (Drums) has recently died. So this is a fine farewell to one of the good guys.
At the beginning of 2020 I decided to get my arse to the U.K. and go to a Pete Gage gig (and if ever possible see if I can make a Ruzz Guitar’s Blues Revue as well). Doesn’t look like 2021 will allow me to do so. 2022? Come one, don’t let me be sitting here, twiddling my thumbs. I do know humankind has other problems at this time, but shine a lttle light, will you?