Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Juke Jumpers "Villa Acuna, 1963"

Man o man, this is a great band! Where do I start? I've been working on this review since New Year's Day and I can't stop listening long enough to write anything down! The Ft Worth based Juke Jumpers have been making great Texas music since 1977. They are back on this disc with their original members--Michael Bartula on drums, Sumter Bruton on guitar and vocals, Jim Colegrove on guitar harmonica pedal steel and vocals, Jim Milan on bass, Johnny Reno on saxophones, and Craig Simcheck on keyboards. Of the twelve songs here, eight are originals including the title track, which is done up in true Tex-Mex style. "Pink Heart Days" starts things off with a rockin' instrumental with super guitar and saxophone work. The band follows that with "Luck in a Hurry," which sounds old and new at the same time, and "Standing at the Crossroads Again" by Mickey Jupp, then the evergreen "Dr Feel Good" by Curtis Smith, then two by Jim Colegrove, "I Wonder What She Looks Like Now" and "Nowhere City Night." After "In Walked You" comes "Go Ahead On" by Tommy Cassel, then "Screen Door Jesus" by Johnny Reno and "Red Light" which if it doesn't make you smile you might be in a coma. Then (finally) we get the title track, and then they wrap up this great disc with a cover of "Rock n Roll Ruby" written by Johnny Cash and recorded by these guys back in 1980. There is no loss of sizzle, no drop off at all in the intervening nearly 30 years. Everything here is energetic, fun and it is all played great! Check out the effortless dance groove by Bartula and Milan, the great guitar work by Sumter Bruton, the amazing musicianship of all star Jim Colegrove, the list goes on and on. Every time I put this cd in the player I am knocked out. These guys are Texas sized legends.

Pick up this disc at Cool Groove Records, http://www.thecoolgroove.com.

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