Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The Vargas Brothers – Rockin’ Blues

The Vargas Brothers – Rockin’ Blues
Wild Records

Track List: Done Gone/Lend Me Your Comb/Cutting Class/Love Charms/Hello Baby/Should We Tell Him/Wiggle Walkin' Baby/Leaving You/More and More/Hooked On You/Cry, Cry, Cry/I'm Ready (alt.)/Cry, Baby, Cry/Rockin' Blues/More & More (Spanish Version)

I think this is the Vargas Brothers second album, but it’s my introduction to this duo from Huntington Park, California, and I must say, they blew my mind. They also play as the Lonely Blue Boys but as they Vargas Brothers they play, no holds barred rockabilly.

The Vargas Brothers are Alex and Ernie Vargas, who share the vocals and play rhythm guitar and bass. They are driven along by Jose ''Watts'' Rodriguez on some blistering guitar and Jeff Gerow on drums.

The CD kicks off with a pair of fabulous covers. They do George & Earl’s Done Gone full justice, with great vocals and Joe Rodriguez laying down his marker for what follows - a CD chock full of explosive lead guitar. I don’t think I’ve ever said this before, but all I can say about Rodriguez’s guitar solo is, eat your heart out Carl. It’s a brilliant cover that will rock your socks off. Their cover of Ray Stanley’s Love Charms manages to recreate some of the atmospheric sound that made the original such a unique song. Bob Luman’s Hello Baby is phenomenal with Omar Romero taking over on lead guitar and the smoothness of the Everly’s Should We Tell Him is retained and augmented by more firecracker guitar. It sounds like the Everly’s backed by Ricky Nelson’s prime-time backing band.

Their own songs manage to maintain the high standard. Cutting Class is a rocking duet with shithot guitar, blah, blah, blah. I’m sure you’re getting the message here. Wiggle Walkin' Baby is blinding, reminding me of Red Hot ‘n’ Blue at their best. What a song, surely destined for hit status in the rockin’ clubs. Hooked On You is pure 50’s rockabilly as is I’m Ready which is relentless and another “must hear” number. The title track, Rockin’ Blues does what it says on the tin.

More And More suits them to a tee, and it’s great to hear this in something other than flat vocals!! Only joking, I love Webb, but his voice was voice was squarer than most people’s swimming pools – not his own though. JC’s Cry Cry Cry is a strong cover that will please rockabillies of all persuasions. A Spanish version of More And More rounds off the set.

I love this album, and would happily to say this is the best modern album I’ve heard for ages. If there is to be a place for rockabilly in the forthcoming decades, then bands and albums like this will play a big role in keeping youngsters interested. A stunning release.

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