Wednesday 29 July 2009

The Excellos

The Excellos – The Excellos
Excellos CD001
Tracklisting: 1 I Got Love If You Want It 2 Catfish 3 You Don't Care 4 Jekyll & Hyde 5 Bad Boy Blues 6 Draw The Line 7 Black Betty 8 Cold Coffee 9 Jump 10 Sonny Rising 11 Kasbah 12 Lucky Charm 13 Suzy Q 14 Scratch & Sniff 15 Shake Your Hips 16 Down In The Bottom
The Excellos are a hot quartet from the UK. They couldn't have chosen a better name for themselves as they play in the rockin' blues style so famously recorded by the likes of Lightnin' Slim and Slim Harpo on the Excello label from Louisiana. It's good to see a band with this sound doing so well on the scene as it's been surprisingly underutilised over recent years. A notable exception was the great French band Boll Weevil who slayed a packed crowd at the Rhythm Riot a few years ago. I remember after the show they carried on playing a few songs in the foyer - it was hot and sweaty just as you'd imagine a Crowley gin joint to be circa 1961.
The Excellos are Craig Shaw, Adam Wakefield, Trev TC Collins and Paul Sheahan and they've all been on the scene in some form for the past couple of decades. Wakefield, Shaw and Sheahan were founder members of the Bop Shack Stompers and Collins was the drummer for the Western Bops.
The album kicks off with a great cover of Slim Harpo’s Got Love If You Want It with a driving beat and Shaw’s harmonica stealing the show. Jackyll & Hide was released as a single on Rollin’ Records last year and is wicked stomper with heavily amplified vocals and was backed by the instro Scratch & Sniff.
The whole album will appeal to rockers and bluesmen alike but the stand out moments for me include, Draw The Line, a rockabilly number with the bass beautifully recorded in the mix. Ram Jam’s Black Betty is a surprise choice that works well. Jump is in the Detroit era John Lee Hooker with a vocal that sounds like late 70’s George Thorogood. Not surprisingly, Slim Harpo is revisited with Shake Your Hips, no doubt a killer at their live shows. A really good album that will hopefully be the first of many.

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