Jump blues was especially popular in the late 1940's and early 1950's, featuring legendary artists such as Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, Roy Brown, Charles Brown, Helen Humes, T-Bone Walker, Roy Milton, Billy Wright and Wynonie Harris. During that same time period, swing was well established with the well known bandleaders of the Swing Era like jazz greats Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw, as well as arrangers Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn. Even as far back as the 20's and 30's, major cities had their favorite night clubs like the Cotton Club in New York and Chicago's Civic Opera House.
Jump blues was revived, starting in the 1980s by artists such as Brian Setzer, Roomful of Blues, and Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88s. Contemporary swing bands such as Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and The Mighty Blue Kings have continued that tradition.
One such group specializing in both genres is the Chicago based band, The RhythmRockets, playing their first gig New Year’s Eve of 1996. Over time, the group has established itself as the premier jump, R&B, and swing band in the "Windy City." What sets the band apart from the rest is the way they have put their own signature on the nostalgic post war blues, jump blues, and big band jazz arrangements. With a touch of class and precision, this majestic "little big band" has captured the essence of the music that defined a generation for years, from their outfits, to the delivery of their spectacular sound. The popularity of the RhythmRockets can be attributed to the strong yearning for the music from this era that is still alive and well. By assembling a band of this caliber, they have been able to keep these genres of music alive and vibrant. This Chicago band has been successful in recreating that nostalgic sound that could once be heard billowing out of upscale Chicago music venues like the Civic Opera House, the Boulevard Room at the Stevens Hotel, the Empire Room at the Palmer House, the Panther Room at the Hotel Sherman's College Inn, the Blackhawk Restaurant, and the famous Chez Paree, which reigned for nearly two decades as Chicago's hottest nightspot.
Fronting the band since 2000, with her alluring, sultry vocals, is the charming Nicole Kestler, covering the popular post-war tunes of such singers as Dinah Washington, Big Maybelle, Peggy Lee, Ella Mae Morse, Ruth Brown, and Etta James. Sharing vocals with Kesler is the guitarist and founder Dave Downer who has assembled musicians like drummer extraordinaire Mark Fornek from the Jimmy Rogers and Dave Specter blues bands, Lou Marini and Michael Quiroz on bass, and on tenor saxSam Burckhardt (from the Sunnyland Slim's blues band and founding member of the Mighty Blue Kings. Sharing the tenor sax position is Mike Bielecki and Marty Gierczyk with the Baritone sax handled by Ron Dublin, Ed Enright, and Justin Keirans.
It is a genuine treat to experience the energy of this band when they jump, jive, and wail their way to the stage with songs from their duel collection of contemporary jump blues She Swings Blue Volume 1: The Joint Is Jumpin', or their slower tempo, traditional post-war jazz classics from She Swings Blue Volume 2: After Hours.
They open She Swings Blue Volume 1: The Joint Is Jumpin' with the Biggs/Thomas house-rockin' tune "In The Mood For You." Dave Downer goes toe to toe with jump blues guitarists like Duke Robillard or blues great T-bone Walker with his Epiphone guitar solos on this one. Nicole Kestler rivals the late great Dinah Washington on their arrangement of the Leonard Feather/Lionel Hampton tune "Evil Gal Blues." The rhythm and horn sections are spectacular in support of Nicole's torrid vocals on the 1951 Buddy Johnson number "Til My Baby Comes Back." Lou Marini opens the Sid Wyche tune "I've Got A Feelin'" with his upright bass, only to follow with Latin clavé rhythms, powerful saxophone solos, and Nicole's steamy vocals. You will want to put on your dancing shoes as the band joins Nicole on vocals for "Baby Baby Every Night," a song made popular in 1958 by Chess Blues recording artist Etta James. Saxophone, drums, piano, and rhythm guitar establish a high powered groove, as The Rhythm Rockets revive the 1952 Ravens juke box hit "Rock Me All Night Long" with an arrangement all their own. They blow the roof off with Dave Downer's original jump blues track "Jumpin' The Blues," showcasing Dave's rhythm and hot and spicy guitar leads to supersize the intense sax and piano solos. "A Rockin' Good Way" offers the same soulful vocals from Nicole and Mark Fornek as it did when released on Mercury records, featuring Dinah Washington and Brook Benton, co-written by Benton. Dave rekindles that 50's rock 'n' roll guitar style on the 1956 jump blues rocker "T'Ain't Whatcha Say It's Whatcha Do," released originally on Savoy by Little Esther Phillips. With her smooth vocals, Kestler is captivating on "I Just Couldn't Stand It No More," much like one of Dinah Washington's stellar performances at the Chicago clubs like Dave's Rhumboogie, the Downbeat Room of the Sherman Hotel, or even Chicago's Regal Theater in the 40's. Nicole Kestler and Mark Fornek team up once again on vocals to deliver a performance of "Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own," reminiscent of the classic 50's tune by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan. All aboard for the "Cannonball Express." This vibrant rendition by the all-star band of the Rhythm Rockets is as well done as the original classic hit done in the 50's by Peggy Lee. Numerous jump blues artists have recorded "Good Rockin' Daddy," since the 1955 recording by Etta James, with The Rhythm Rockets now added to that list. With hot sequential saxophone solos, this latest track surpasses the older recordings in musicianship and outstanding vocals. What an ending to a superlative collection of jump blues on the first volume, with a no holes barred recording of the 1953 Ruth Brown classic "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean." With Tony Kidonakis taking it to the house on keys, the sassy vocals by Nicole Kestler, and an amazing studio performance from the incredible horn section, The RhythmRockets finish the album in style.
She Swings Blue Volume 2: After Hours is the flip side of the coin with an equally classy studio collection of ballads. It opens with "Mean And Evil Blues," as Nicole sings with conviction in her voice, reminding her partner that she is tired of his "lyin talk." The song was done originally by Dinah Washington for the motion picture "On The Road."
Nicole sings the blues nice and easy with her passionate vocals, telling us "My Baby Left Me." She puts a magic spell on the audience with her enchanting lyrics much like her mentors with the 30's tune "I'll be Taking A Holiday From Love," composed by leader Dave Downer's grandmother, Muriel Granback. Dinah Washington, the co-writer of "Duck Before You Drown," is a song tailor made for both vocals and the piano solos of Tony Kidonakis as they offer a perfect meld with the rhythm section and saxophones.
Downer starts things out with some tasty down home blues licks, followed by Nicole's alluring vocals on the song "Let's Rock Awhile," much more convincing than Amos Milburn's original in 1951. "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" takes you back to Sun Record days with Ray Smith or the early Chess Record recording by Fats Domino. The Rhythm Rockets still have some early rock 'n' roll flavor remaining in their contemporary version, with Nicole giving the song yet another sound with her savory vocals. The Ollie Jones tune "Send For Me" seemed to be a cornerstone for recordings artists like Johnny Mercer, Nat King Cole, and later for Marvin Gaye or even the up tempo recording by the Stylistics. The Rhythm Rockets put their stamp of approval on this song that is a slower, mellow rendition created with both saxophone and piano and the voluptuous, sweet vocals from Kestler on this classic. The Hoagy Carmichael track "Bread & Gravy" is the ultimate after hours tune with one of the smoothest tracks on the album. This returns back to the 1930's with the Chicago R&B recording artist Martha Davis. The band has captured the essence of "You Was Right, Baby" with their arrangement of the tune originally performed and co-written by Peggy Lee. Downer opens with some stellar blues guitar riffs on the slow eight-bar blues song written by jazz pianist Richard M. Jones, covered over the years by a host of artists since the first known recording of the song in 1924 by singer Thelma La Vizzo, with Jones providing the piano accompaniment. The Rhythm Rockets were able to resurrect the 1943 Capitol recording "40 Cups Of Coffee" with the same vibrant vocals of Ella Mae Morse and explosive band of Jimmy Dorsey. Duke Ellington could not have performed the jazz instrumental any better than The Rhythm Rockets as they bring this brilliant album to a close with the Billy Strayhorn song "Blues In Orbit." Along with the entire band, Brian OHern's piano solos take center stage, complementing the tenor and baritone saxophone parts.
This two disc collection covers a multitude of material selected by this band of renown, celebrating a very successful tribute to the stars of yesterday's jazz and blues history. This monumental disc set marks a high point in The RhythmRockets long reign of performing these classic numbers live and in the studio. We can only hope the band can continue it's successful existence for years to come.
Review by Rick Davis
We've attached a letter and some pictures. Feel free to post them if you like. We got misty eyed looking back at the pictures and remembering what a great time we had. You guys rocked!
To Whom It May Concern:
It is with great pleasure that we write this letter of recommendation for the Rhythm Rockets. We had the honor of working with them during our wedding celebration on July 13th of 2013. The band impressed us on many levels with their talent, professionalism, and enthusiasm.The Rhythm Rockets are not your typical wedding band. They are a group of gifted musicians who have honed their craft over years of practicing and performing together. Their repertoire is vast, ranging from up-beat swing tunes to classic songs perfect for the Father-Daughter dance. We were so confident in their ability to create a song list appropriate for the mood of our wedding and our guests that we gave them the freedom to create a song list. Their song choices were ideal for the crowd and our venue.
Not only did the Rhythm Rockets embody the talent we were looking for in a band, but also were responsive, organized, and prompt in every meeting and communication. The event coordinator made a point of mentioning what a singular pleasure the group was to work with, even after years of experience working with bands. Finally, the liveliness and enthusiasm of the members of the Rhythm Rockets set them apart from other bands. Each member is friendly, approachable, and a true professional musician. They were the highlight of our wedding and will forever remain one of our most treasured memories. We are happy to have this opportunity to endorse the Rhythm Rockets and could not recommend them more highly.
Sincerely, Juan and Anna Nieto
In the 1920s, bands roamed the country bringing music to small clubs, VFW halls and theaters – anywhere that had plenty of room for dancers and bountiful cold drinks. Known as “territory bands”, these groups were usually scaled-down jazz big bands. The reduced size made the financial strains of maintaining a touring band more manageable. The groups excelled at playing for dancers, using inventive arrangements to create a big sound with fewer horn players. As time went on, the bands weathered the Great Depression and World War II but the rise of rock & roll music in the 1950s rapidly provided a new soundtrack for the dancers.
Based out of Chicago, the Rhythm Rockets are well-versed in the musical styles favored by the territory bands. Their latest release focuses on material that is guaranteed to fill the dance floor and features light, swinging rhythms behind muscular horn charts to form an irresistible combination guaranteed to get bodies in motion. The line-up varies a bit across the four sessions that make up this project but the overall sound never falters.
The core of the band is featured vocalist Nicole Kestler, Mark Fornek on drums, Dave Downer on guitar, and Mike Bielecki on tenor saxophone. Additional horn players include Marty Gierczyk and Sam Burckhardt on tenor plus baritone players Ron Dulin, Justin Keirans, and Ed Enright. Michael Quiroz and Lou Marini split the bass responsibilities while Tony Kidonakis shares the piano chair with Brian O’Hern. Burckhardt was a long-time member of Sunnyland Slim’s band and Fornek served stints with notables including Jimmy Rogers and Dave Specter.
The opening tune, “In the Mood for You,” sets a jaunty pace with Downer supplying a taut solo in support of Kestler’s smooth vocal. The tight interplay between the horns sparks “Evil Gal Blues,” a hit for Dinah Washington. Kestler takes a lighter approach on “I Got a Feelin’” than Big Maybelle did on the original. After a bowed bass intro from Marini, Fornek beats out an intricate rhythm pattern as Kestler worries about losing her man to another woman. Buddy Johnson and his sister Ella were hit makers in the final throes of the territory band era. The Rockets expertly recreate the mellow swing of Johnson’s band on “”Til My Baby Comes Back,” with Kidonakis adding rolling piano flourishes throughout.
A scintillating cover of the Ravens’ “Rock Me All Night Long” finds Bielecki’s earthy tenor urging the band on. The lone original, “Jumpin’ the Blues”, fits right in with a rocking groove. Downer, who composed the piece, delivers a blistering guitar solo that is matched by Burckhardt’s brawny tenor. “Cannonball Express” is joyous tribute to a legendary train with Kestler’s vocal gliding along over the propulsive rhythm. Her tone is more strident on “I Just Couldn’t Stand It No More,” the only time she reaches beyond the limitations of her voice. But she recovers nicely with a duet with Fornek on “Ain’t Nobody’s Business but My Own” that holds up well to the original by Louis Jordan and Ella Fitzgerald.
They are even better on a sparkling rendition of “A Rockin’ Good Way,” tackling a tune popularized by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton. Kestler adopts a sassy persona that contrasts nicely with Fornek’s robust tones and a meaty baritone solo by Enright. The solo honors on “T’ain’t Whatcha Say it’s Whatcha Do” go to Downer and Keirans while Kestler’s breezy delivery masks the serious nature of her plea for a real relationship.
The Rockets cover two songs from early in Etta James’ career, starting with “Baby Baby Every Night”. The earthy charm of Kestler’s singing is supported by backing vocals from the rest of the band in addition to a torrid solo from Burckhardt. When they dig into “Good Rockin’ Daddy,” there is no holding them back. Kestler doesn’t try to match the powerful James. Instead she gives the tune a measured reading, letting a raucous sax showdown between Bielecki on tenor and Dulin on baritone provide the fireworks.
She also takes a lighter approach on “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” as the band sets up a breakneck pace that leaves Ruth Brown’s original in the dust. Kestler’s catchy vocal, rollicking piano from Kidonakis and the horn section riffing with gusto allow the Rockets to add a final exclamation point to this marvelous collection that honors the past while artfully showing that there is plenty of life left in a genre that virtually disappeared into the mists of time. The combination of Kestler’s distinctive voice, the swinging rhythm section and the magnificent horn section will constantly delight listeners and infect the dance crowd with a serious case of happy feet. A joy from start to finish, this one comes highly recommended! We are looking forward to Vol. 2, which the Rhythm Rockets will release in the near future.
CHICAGO JAZZ MAGAZINE: CD REVIEW
While he was a guest on an episode of the Bing Crosby Radio Show, the great Louis Armstrong was asked to tell the studio and radio audience what "swing" music is. Armstrong replied, "Ah, swing. Well, we used to call it syncopation, then they called it ragtime, then blues, then jazz... now, it's swing."
By the mid-1940s the popularity of swing music, championed by big band leaders like Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, had peaked. The economic pressures of WWII and the post-war era would encourage a movement toward bebop, rhythm & blues, and rock & roll in smaller musical groups. The mid 1990s through to the next decade would see a revival of sorts in swing music, and it was during this era but not because of it that the Rhythm Rockets were born. They embraced all of these similar but distinct musical styles without being limited to any one of them.
The RR's possessed two distinct advantages over many of their now-defunct musical contemporaries that helped ensure their survival and growth into the present day: band leader Dave Downer's wise placement of emphasis on musicianship over gimmickry, and the invaluable look and sound of lead vocalist Nicole Kestler. Few other female artists today combine the necessary daring, confidence and originality (not to mention the pipes) to follow big-voiced legends like Ruth Brown and Mabel (Big Maybelle) Smith, or Peggy Lee's sultry purr.
Nor can most stylishly cover songs to make them their own as Kestler and the Rhythm Rockets do with She Swings Blue on songs like "Cannonball Express," "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean," and my personal favorite, "I Got A Feelin," Sydney Wyche's chilling, mid-tempo musical cautionary tale. It begins with a haunting bass solo by Marini before Kestler enters with extended mellifluous notes. She is joined by Fornek, and together they offer the soulful combination of voice and drum only. Add the brash horn section for contrast and you have the makings of an instant classic. Kestler's precise phrasing and delivery make "Evil Girl Blues" with it's not-so-subtle message of "I am one mean bitch and don't you want me? "come alive without resorting to theatrics. After the saxophones of Bielecki and Keirans set the stage, it's the fluid pianism and varied tonal palette of the skillful O'Hern that brings it all together.
The muscular and rambunctious tenor saxophone of Bielecki adds even more punch to Kestler's delivery of "Baby Baby Every Night" and "Rock Me All Night Long," with the rest of the band joining in on vocals. Downer chooses "Jumpin The Blues" (his own composition), "T'ain't Whatcha Say, It's Whatcha Do," and "In The Mood for You" to step away from the free-wheeling horn section and finally cut his guitar strings loose. With contributions usually being equally substantial but more subtle, this is a rare and exciting opportunity for Downer to showcase his own distinctive phraseology. Kestler adds just the appropriate amount of her own sensuous "oh-so-cool" charm. "Till My Baby Comes Back To Me" brings out the mellow side of both Kestler's voice and accompaniment when she is temporarily cast in the role of forsaken lover. Fornek joins Kestler to deliver vocals with a playfully articulated impudence on "A Rockin Good Way" and "Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own," matching her line for line, and adding variety to the Rhythm Rockets vocal presentation.
Kidonakis shines on "I Just Couldn't Stand It No More," momentarily displacing the horn section with his euphonious keyboard and skillfully grabbing the musical focus. In this style of music however, the attention of most listeners will eventually be drawn back to the horns, as the three saxophones rotating in and out of "Good Rockin Daddy" demonstrate. With She Swings Blue, the Rhythm Rockets pay homage to a rich musical heritage, while offering unbridled enthusiasm, great musicianship, stunning vocals, and a great big dose of pure fun. Available at CD Baby. Randy Freedman
Chicago freelance writer Randy Freedman is a jazz connoisseur, photographer, food critic, humorist, and devoted music fan. He is a regular contributor to Chicago Jazz Magazine.
CD BABY REVIEW:
The mailman dropped off the latest CD from the Rhythm Rockets, "She Swings Blue: The Joint is Jumpin'" and I'm listening to it as I write this. I'm totally impressed. I love the sound, the song selection, the playing--it all comes together on this upbeat release. Guitarist/band leader Dave Downer has assembled a top-notch combo, fronted by singer Nicole Kestler, who not only embrace that post-war, pre-rock, R & B sound, but also push it in new directions. You get their take on classics like "Baby Baby Every Night" and "Good Rockin' Daddy" that stand side by side with the band's original tracks like "Jumpin' the Blues."
Listening to this disc is a real joy and it sounds like everyone on it is having fun, too, covering songs by sassy gals like Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington, and Etta James. More than anything, "She Swings Blue" makes me want to grab my wife, roll back the rug, and get dancing!
BILL DAHL- INDEPENDANT JOURNALIST/MUSIC HISTORIAN
It takes courage to open an evening’s festivities at a music club with an entire set of material slated for upcoming album release. After all, longtime fans aren’t familiar with any of it. That didn’t deter the Rhythm Rockets at Katerina’s on West Irving Park Road from introducing their latest set list additions to a sizable crowd on Saturday evening. From the warm reception those relatively unfamiliar numbers received, the CD promises to sell well.
Long a Chicago area attraction, the Rhythm Rockets specialize in jumping horn-fueled R&B, the great majority of it culled from the immediate postwar era (along with a few original numbers along the same lines), with an occasional torch ballad strategically situated. Guitarist/band founder Dave Downer has his band classily decked out in suits and ties (matching the classy surroundings at Katerina’s, an intimate jazz club and restaurant), and the sax players stand behind illuminated music stands, adding to the retro ambiance. But there’s nothing dated about this outfit; sky-high energy levels and rollicking rhythms keep things live and lively.
Along with Downer’s crisp T-Bone Walker-influenced licks, played on a Epiphone hollowbody (he displays two identical gold ES-295 models onstage, complete with matching Bigsby bars), the Rhythm Rockets boast a pair of stellar tenor saxists as their primary soloists: Sam Burckhardt, who developed his authoritative sound over many years as blues piano patriarch Sunnyland Slim’s loyal sideman, and Mike Bielecki, whose animated stage persona is as entertaining as his wide-toned wails. Acoustic bassist Lou Marini and drummer Mark Fornek provide a formidable rhythm section that genuinely knows how to swing (no small feat these days), and vocalist Nicole Kestler displays just the right tone in her appealing delivery.
Following a swinging introductory instrumental, Downer jovially rolled through legendary pianist Amos Milburn’s romping “Roomin’ House Boogie,” vividly describing the wild goings on at a party that anyone would surely give their right arm to attend. Then Nicole positioned herself behind the mic to belt Etta James’ lusty “Good Rockin’ Daddy” in front of a three-horn cushion (baritone saxist Tony Kidonakis did a stellar job of sitting in for the combo’s regular bari player, sounding like he’d never missed a rehearsal in the band’s entire lifespan).
The playful lickety-split “Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own” was a popular duet vehicle during the early ‘50s for everyone from Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan to Tennessee Ernie Ford and Kay Starr; Nicole and Mark summoned the some of the same fun repartee that those memorable if disparate pairings brought to the number. Nicole was back on her own for a seductive “Baby’s In The Mood For You,” counted off at an easy swing tempo with Downer’s concise picking winding through the horns (his guitar approach is actually closer to L.A. jump blues specialist Pee Wee Crayton than T-Bone).
Another Milburn gem, the sassy stop-time blues “Let’s Rock A While,” sported a muscular Burckhardt sax solo as several couples gravitated to the dance floor, Nicole turning up the burners on the last chorus. Marini surprised the assemblage by pulling out a bow to saw out a solo intro on Big Maybelle’s captivating “I’ve Got A Feeling,” imparting a momentary classical gravity to the proceedings before Kestler inserted an eerie wordless vocal passage and then the rest of the band kicked in on an infectious rhumba groove.
This crew digs deep into jump blues history for hidden gems. A bouncy revival of Little Esther’s joyous “T’ain’t Whatcha Say, It’s Whatcha Do” was a delight, Mark seconding Nicole vocally on the chorus and Kidonakis and Downer contributing hot solos. Then it was time to bring down the rhythmic pace and give those so inclined the opportunity for a slow dance. Instead of reaching for a warhorse such as “At Last,” Kestler wrapped her honeyed pipes around a lesser known Etta James ballad along the same sumptuous lines, the Eddie Bo-penned “My Dearest Darling.” The strategy worked; one could barely squeeze onto that little dance floor.
Staying on the obscure side of Etta’s songbook, the Rockets sailed into the lively “Baby Baby Every Night,” the band providing a rowdy vocal chorus behind Kestler and Kidonakis inserting another jabbing baritone sax ride. No shrinking violet, Nicole admitted she “hated this song when I first heard it” before tearing into Ruth Brown’s 1952 R&B chart-topper “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean,” doing the rocker up proud as the horn section swayed rhythmically. Bielecki blew up a storm during his solo, and Downer slipped a “Rock Around The Clock” quote into his dexterous ride.
The tempo ramped up to the boiling point during the flagwaving instrumental finale, Chuz Alfred’s “Rockin’ Boy.” Fornek counted it off with a rumbling drum fanfare before the saxes engaged in some of their wildest wailing of the evening.
The second set, comprised of more familiar material, was no less satisfying. The Rhythm Rockets displayed their versatility by opening with two Duke Ellington masterworks, “Take The ‘A’ Train” and “Blues In Orbit,” and a soulful rendition by Mark Fornek on “Just A Little Lovin’” an Eddy Arnold country classic rendered in similar fashion to the way Ray Charles transformed it. Kidonakis switched over to piano to sing a splendid rendition of Brother Ray’s barrelhouse romp “Mess Around,” exhibiting excellent boogie chops on the 88s.
The combo seamlessly segued from a rollicking redo of the Ravens/Treniers romp “Rock Me All Night Long” to Ethel Waters’ mournful ballad “Bread And Gravy” without breaking stride (Kestler sounded entirely at home at both ends of the stylistic spectrum). There was a back-to-back Dinah Washington segue from a saucy “Mean And Evil Blues” to the resolute “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” (another tune with country origins, this one introduced by Hank Snow).
Kestler and Fornek work well together as a duo, bouncing off one another as they navigated the perky rhythm line of Dinah Washington and Brook Benton’s “A Rockin’ Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love).” After a cool and sensuous “Send For Me” taken at a more languid pace than Nat King Cole’s ’57 hit version, the evening climaxed with a torrid original, “Born Jumpin’ The Blues.”
This fun-loving crew sounds like it was indeed born jumpin’ those blues.
EMAIL FROM A FAN: MONTY BURT
Wow--what a pleasant surprise to discover the CDs you sent me. (The mailman dropped off your package about an hour ago.) I'm listening to it as I write this and I'm totally impressed. I love the sound, the song selection--everything! It was probably an ordeal to raise the money to actually make the recording but listening to it is a real joy. It sounds like you are all having so much fun. I just want to grab my wife, roll back the rug, and get dancing.
Thanks very much for the CDs you sent and I look forward to hearing the rest of the songs. Track 8 just played and that's a single for sure. Every radio in the country should be blaring out "A Rockin' Good Way." All the best with your CD release party at Katerina's Supper Club!