It goes without saying that the current state of rock formatting on commercial radio. as my old Rhode Island comediac pal Rudy Cheeks would phrase it, “blows dead puppies.”
I’ll listen to the Little Steven show via the web, or put some Direct TV music channel on now and then, but mostly I’m playing stuff off the spiffy new iPod I got for my now-longer commute. While looking around the web for stuff I might like, a “Chuck Berry” related searchin’ safari led me to the truly amazin’ band The Refreshments.
No, no, no! NOT the American band called the Refreshments, the SWEDISH one. Don’t you know if you want true American rockabilly you have to go to Scandinavia?
They’ve been accurately described as Sweden’s answer to Rockpile & The Blasters, although they’ve put out more material than either one of those other Wagstaff faves – 20 CDs in all, including a few live ones, but mostly original rockabilly/bluesy rock material spiced with covers of Berry-esque material thrown in. Their most recent CD is a salute to Berry, mostly of Berry covers along with tribute style songs.
Did I mention that after hearing them I got all 20 of their CDs? Yeah, that’s how much I went nuts over these guys.
Here’s a taste:
The band went through a few minor incarnations since 1995 or so – early records feature former Rockpile guitarist Billy Bremner, and after that the music features possibly the best boogie-woogie pianist I’ve ever heard in any band, Johan Blohm.
I can’t understand why this stuff hasn’t made it onto American radio, onto country/rock formatted stations, or anywhere. It’s as purely an American form of music as jazz and it’s been pushed out by Robin Thicke ripping off Marvin Gaye. I DEMAND MUSICAL JUSTICE!!!!
Another reason why I love the internet – I’d’ve NEVER known about this band otherwise.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of REAL rock ‘n’ roll, check these guys out, something to add to the list of Swedish exports along with Volvo, IKEA and ABBA. My own favorite material from them includes (ironically for Mr. Jew) their 2 Christmas themed records and their CD “24-7” which I find myself playing over and over again. They also backed up Rockpile’s Dave Edmunds for a live album that’s a must-listen.