Get those toes a tapping…. I first heard The Dodge Brothers on Simon Mayo’s Radio5Live show and assumed that this was some blatant nepotism for Dr. Kermode’s ‘hobby’ when he is not reviewing films. During the interview the other members of the band, Aly, Mike and Alex sounded like they knew what they were talking about and then they were asked to play a few songs – I expected the worst.How wrong could I be, I was completely taken by the abridged version of ‘The Ballad of Frank Harris’ (and ‘Goodbye Booze’, not on this album). On the back of ‘Frank Harris’ alone, I ordered the CD.It has been played non-stop in this house hold, particularly by my 8 year old daughter, who plays ‘Frank Harris’ to any friend that comes around – and makes sure they understand the story.A great collection of toe tapping songs and slower melodies about the topics they say they sing about, namely drinking, heartbreak, homicide, drinking, transport and a bit more heartbreak and drinking.What is even more amazing is that all the songs, with one exception are written by the band. I could take you through my thoughts and praise for each track, but just order the CD and make up your own mind – stand out tracks for me are ‘Frank Harris’, ’42 Days’, ‘Dreamland’ and ‘God’s First Commandment’.And to put the record straight, I don’t know the band, I just enjoy good music, but long live nepotism, because without it I probably wouldn’t have come across The Dodge Brothers.
Rockabilly lives! To my knowledge, this the The Dodge Brothers second CD. Their first was released through their own company and, to be frank, I found it to be a very disappointing mish-mash of styles. Not at all what I expected after seeing Mark Kermode and his buddies performing as part of a ‘Culture Show’ challenge.But this CD is very different and is top flight – often pure rockabilly but also haunting at times, yet never creating the weird mixture of disparate styles that so afflicted that first release.It would be wonderful if music such as this gained a wide audience and re-ignited a love of homemade acoustic music with all the energy that once infused skiffle and early rock. These days, words such as ‘skiffle’ or ‘folk’ often seem to be derided, but you only have to listen to the first two tracks of this CD to see just how infectious and affecting such music can be.You don’t need hi-octane amplifiers or flash guitar work to create a toe-tapping, body-twitching, head-bobbing buzz – just darn good tunes; powerful rhythms; great voices and stories and a love of what you’re doing. And that, in a nutshell, is what you get in this Dodge Brothers CD.
Music that’s really worth listening to. I had no preconceptions of this album before buying it other than hearing a brief clip on Radio 5 during the film reviews. Like so many recent albums I assumed it would have 2 or 3 good tracks and another 10 of padding.I couldn’t have been more wrong.This is a superb piece of work. The sheer variety of styles and the obvious talent of the musicians (despite Dr Kermode’s self depreciating comments about his abilities) make for a thoroughly enjoyable listen. From the sombre tones of “Frank Harris” and “The Dying Ranger” to the classic upbeat skiffle/blues of “Brimstone Blues” and “Can’t Walk Like a Man” every track gets you moving and when you listen to the words they get you thinking as well.If you’re old enough the remember this style of music first time round or young enough the catch the revival then you will enjoy this album. If you’re not sure, get it anyway and be prepared for a pleasant surprise.Don’t forget to listen out to the comment at the end of “Died and gone to Hell” 😎
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