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The Swamp Kings - Swamp Appeal

self release


The Swamp Kings, hailing from Minnesota, have most of the makings for a crack swamp pop-cajun band. The guitar skills of Tom Harkness add subtle, slithery or funky grooves as befits the tunes. At times his playing has the feel of Creedence Clearwater Revival - meets-Tony Joe White. This chugging little band is propelled by the in-the-pocket shuffle drumming of Connor McRae and the rock steady bass of Matt Page. Serviceable accordion and organ add to the desired effect from time to time.

"Lafayette Polka" displays the kind of dance floor grooves they are capable of. "Swamp Appeal" grows on you after repeated listenings as the guitar and drums lock into an addictive groove. "44 Y'alls" shows hem at their funky best. "Red Pepper" comes close to winning the crawfish award for a swampy blues with good harmonica playing and nifty washboard percussion.

After all is said and done, what The Swamp Kings lack is authenticity. The lyrics and vocals don't ring true with a swamp feel. It's obvious the band has a genuine liking for the genre, tossing aroud a bunh of Louisiana catch-phrases dosen't make make for anything approaching authentic. The makings os a top-notch instrumental or roots-rock band are here. Louisiana's loss would be Minnesota's and our gain. I just get the idea they are barking up the wrong swamp oak.

Reviewer Greg 'Bluesdog' Szalony is from the New Jersey Delta. He is proprietor of Bluesdog's Doghouse a

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