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Retro Deluxe - Baby It's Hot!

Retro Deluxe/Rinkled Rooster Records

Retro Deluxe howls and growls through 13 blues, jazz, retro and swingin’ rock tracks on “Baby It’s Hot”. They are all originals written by Robert J. Thompson and recorded in Bowie, MD. @ The Olde Bowie Town Grille. Vocalist Bobby Joe Owens pays his dues while guiding the boys through the retro Memphis style “That Ol’ Rooster” (A tribute to the Blues masters). It counts off Porch Board style and features the gritty retro Harp work of Robert Lighthouse. Unfortunately this is the only time we hear Robert’s Harp. Robert also fingers some vintage Dobro.

“I Got Sidetracked” rollickingly strolls through some well written excuses ala Billy C. Wirtz. Preston Wood thumps his bass prowess and will be a key contributor throughout the disc. Dave Gorozdos adds piano over a “spoken word” type vocal. There is a ‘50’s swing vibe and the Party is now getting started! Geoff Holdridge brings his Electric Violin to the party. The title track brings in Scott Ramminger’s swingin’ sax w/more piano and PWoods dyno bass. The band sets a nice groove w/Bobby Joes growled vocals and “Hoochie” backup from Melanie Green. McCloskey takes a nice “Flashy” solo. “King Size Boogie” features nice blues guitar, boogie woogie organ and plenty of double entendre. The cover of the CD says; “Recorded Live” but, I haven’t heard anyone yet. Maybe they are sitting on their hands or someone has a gun to their head.

“In The Past” I can see/hear rockin’ in Memphis. Papa John Creech influenced fiddle w/spirited vocals and more solid writing from Bob Thompson. It appears that Bob isn’t a band member. He’s their manager. Nice wah-wah guitar vs. electric fiddle. “DC To Memphis” makes the deal go down w/jazzy guitar, bass and organ. Rob “Smitty” Smith lays down some big band style drum riffage. PWood stretches out a nice bass solo and there is more? Electric violin. I wish they would trade the violin for Robert Lighthouse’s harp. There is still no “Live” audience. “ 3 Piece Blues” sounds more like jazz too me. It is composed by McCloskey,Wood and VanGelder. It is the only instrumental.

“Drinkin’ Doubleshots” would really get the crowd partyin’. Rockin’ blues and Drinkin’! They’ve got the Olde Bowie Town Grille reverberating here! Sometimes I sense an “everybody Solo” tendency. “She Can’t Wait Anymore” features violin? over jazz with plaintive vocals. “The Dirty Song” is a great blues rocker that really suits Bobby Joe’s voice. There is cool us of the word “dirty”, nice stop time breaks and plenty of Partyin’! George Thorogood, Booker T. and John Lee are channeled here. “Jump, Scream, and Shout” is a piano fueled Party! There is dirty sax, jump blues and a touch of Rockabilly. They sing; “Jump, Scream and Shout, gonna wear everybody out.” I wish they would throughout. The Olde Bowie is jumpin’ here and the audience is sorely missed. Everybody sings to try and help the feel. “You Got No Creek” is sung through a harp mic. It has reggae, and some acid guitar work. The rhythm section is solid and the vocals really make it unique.

“Baby it’s Hot’ is a fine CD w/solid writing and profound musicianship. The CD cover is great and the Retro Deluxe insignia is cool. All the websites are clearly marked on its exterior. The interior is clear and concise. (Something I like). If you are near Bowie, MD., Go party w/Retro Deluxe! Promoters/club owners should book Retro Deluxe ‘cuz they will bring the Party! There are plenty of airplay worthy tracks on “Baby its Hot”. I say get that audience packed into the Olde Bowie and record like “Jump, Scream and Shout” w/overhead audience mikes. Less fiddle and more Harp!!

Reviewer Zeke is a published columnist and reviewer. He is a tireless promoter/supporter of Blues in CT. and beyond.

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