Sunday, 15 February 2009

Rockin' Song of the Week - Number 39

The Velaires -Ubangi Stomp (Jamie)
I'm not really much of a fan of garage rock 'n' roll with most early 60's covers of rock classics leaving me cold, but I do like this. The band started in Sioux City as the Screamers but soon changed it to the Flairs. This name didn't last long either due to the commoness of it and so following a goig at the legendary Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines they became the Velaires. The group consisted of Dan Matousek on rhythm guitar, Bob Dawdy on lead guitar, Jerry DeMers on bass, and Don Bourret on drums. Their manager and booking agent was Dan's older brother, Dick Matousek. Following a brief spell on Palms Records they were signed to Jamie Records in 1961 and hit the charts with a fine cover of Chuck Berry's immortal Roll Over Beethoven. Further releases appeared over the years on Mercury, Palms, Ramco and Brent. The original members parted in 1963, after which the band became known as Danny & The Velaires. They were more than just a cover band but from what I've heard, I think their covers are better than their originals. Ubangi Stomp being perhaps the finest example. It kicks off with a ringing guitar that reminds me of Johnny Otis' Castin' My Spell. The drumming is suffienciently jungly to back up the lyrics and the song has a great energy. I'm not sure whether Warren Smith ever heard and if so what he though about it, but I'm sure Charles Underwood was happy enough.
Recommended downloads: Sticks And Stones and Roll Over Beethoven.

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