This group has helped keep alive the spirit and flavor of early rock 'n' roll and American roots music on Tucson stages. On their terrific latest album, guitarist Michael P. Nordberg, upright bassist Andrew See and drummer Mighty Joel Ford (all three sing) make everything old seem new again.
The album begins with stylistic nods toward Elvis Presley's legendary early group (with Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana) in the tunes "Come Right Home to You" and "Fading in My Rearview," both excellent interpretations of the rockin' country of the 1950s. Backup vocals by Laura Kepner-Adney add depth and seasoning.
The album becomes an irresistible tour through roots-rock. "She's Hot to Trot" introduces a rave-up vibe via a modified Bo Diddley beat and wild sax-playing by Alex Flores. Proto-R&B can be heard in the cool-cat attitude of "I Must Confess." "Do What You Want" is a charming re-creation of traditional doo-wop. It's not a cappella, but the minimal instrumentation allows the harmonies to shine.
With booming guitar leads, "Bad" and "Hard Luck Man" essay the best of '60s honky-tonk. These numbers contrast nicely with rockabilly-style tunes such as "Royale Boogie" and "Flat Gone." Sometimes, such as on the headlong rush of the instrumental "#2," the guitar-twanging and roiling beats demonstrate how early rockers were able to bridge surf and country styles.