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April Mae & The June Bugs - Grease It Up & Go! (Feat. Mike Mettalia) (2015)

12-09-2015, 18:05
Music | Blues | Rock

April Mae & The June Bugs - Grease It Up & Go! (Feat. Mike Mettalia) (2015)

Artist: April Mae & The June Bugs
Title Of Album: Grease It Up & Go! (Feat. Mike Mettalia)
Year Of Release: 2015
Genre: Jump Blues, Rockabilly
Label: Self Released
Format: MP3
Quality: 320 kbps, 44.1 Khz
Total Time: 54:24
Total Size: 129 MB
Covers: Front

01. Memphis Bound (3:13)
02. Some Iz Good (4:47)
03. Grease It Up & Go (2:26)
04. The L & N (3:24)
05. Down From The Mountain (4:00)
06. Good Morning Judge (3:17)
07. Miss Celie’s Blues (2:38)
08. Brooklyn City (3:38)
09. Mistaken Identity Blues (4:53)
10. A Good Man Is Hard To Find (2:51)
11. Midnight Sun (4:00)
12. Quiet Whiskey (2:58)
13. Drown In My Own Tears (4:14)
14. Spoonful (7:59)

Apparently, after pulling an all-nighter, a few of the June Bugs ran into some of the guys from The Midnight Shift. Obviously, they hit it off pretty well. I can't recall if it was April Mae or Mike Mettalia who used it, but that pick up line of "I think we should grease it up and go" really worked. The result turned out to be a very good collaboration between the bands on the appropriately titled CD - "Grease It Up & Go" - by April Mae & The June Bugs with Mike Mettalia. Now I'm not absolutely sure that it happened exactly like that, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The band consists of: April Mae on lead & background vocals, washboard and kazoo; Mike Mettalia on lead & background vocals and harmonica; Dave "Catfish" Fecca on Telecaster, Stratocaster & cigar box guitars, and background vocals; Christopher Horner on upright bass; and Tim Smith on drums. And simply because he's a maestro, Dave Gross deserves mentioning for his mixing and mastering expertise. Inside information also has it that on one of the tracks Dave jumped around the studio with a rattle on his ankle - thus the liner note credit for "multifarious rattle mojo". Of the disc's fourteen tracks, nine are originals and five are covers. Now let's go listen to some of this crazy stuff.

Since I always get excited when I'm "Memphis Bound", from it's name alone I just knew I was going to love this track. As it turns out, the band seems excited as well, 'cause this original is a no holds barred, roof raiser. April's all over the vocals, guitars are rippin', harps are wailin' and the rhythm is rockin' and rollin', and it's all fueled by some fancy percussion work with Tim pounding the hell out of the snare drum....and it's rim. This right here is what the term "making a good first impression" translates to. BTW, this coming January, the band will actually be "Memphis Bound" as 2016 IBC participants. If I were to offer any advice it would simply be "PLAY THIS ONE".

The title track, "Grease It Up & Go", is another track that totally rips, and quite honestly, you should get used to hearing that - or similar words - to describe these songs. The word relent isn't part of anyone in this bands vocabulary. This is one of those tracks where everyone is peaking and yet somehow they manage to take each other even higher. Since I need much more than two and a half minutes of this incredibility, I may just listen to this one about a dozen more times.

So with the opening line of 'here comes the "L&N" rolling on down the track' I'm pretty sure this one's about a train. I'm also pretty sure it's going to smoke like one of those old steam engines as well. However, since it's rhythm that's fueling this freighter, instead of manning the coal shovels, Christopher and Tim are frantically working the bass and drums and Mike's got that whistle blowin' like that of a runaway train. With all that going on, Catfish didn't get lost in the smoke. As a matter of fact, with his fierce guitar licks he's creating some of his own. And vocally, with somewhat inverse styles, April and Mike sound like a match made in harmony heaven. Another outstanding performance on another outstanding original song.

Uttering the words "Good Morning Judge" doesn't sound like a fun way of starting off the day. Yet, after a raucous night out on the town for April and a bit of tax fraud by Mike, that's exactly what they found themselves doing. What is fun is listening to them try to talk.....make that sing their way out of it - first April, then Mike, then in tandem. I'm not sure about Mike, but I'm betting with all that sass she's tossing at him, the judge just may cut April some slack. Another fast paced, frolicking number with great harp and guitar leads and more intense rhythm led by Christopher punishing that big ol' standup bass.

"Miss Celie's Blues" could have also been called Miss April's Blues, because this one is all her. If April's voice was a calendar it would probably be one from the early 1940's. Her unique sound, unique style and unique sassitude definitely comes from old school influences.

I'd be disowned back in the hood if I didn't have something to say about a track called "Brooklyn City", so here ya go. This one's loaded with more of what's basically typical for this talented bunch: phenomenal lead and harmony background vocals, extremely hard driving rhythm and gutsy guitar leads. Since it's another original, I'm thinking they just might include this one on their IBC set list. I'm also thinking this is the kind of stuff that will take them to the next round.

With everyone behind her in a subtle, yet somehow commanding groove, April absolutely shines on this slow sultry number called "Midnight Sun". If they haven't yet submitted this track to the movie industry I strongly suggest Mike and April do just that. This has being the score for a mystery movie written all over it.

Other tracks on "Grease It Up & Go" include: "Some Iz Good", "Down From The Mountain", "Mistaken Identity Blues", "A Good Man Is Hard To Find", "Quiet Whiskey", "Drown In My Own Tears", and "Spoonful". ~Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro

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