Dr. Diddy Patented pure Original Brand: Grease Groove – ‘Ere am I Records – Stomp and Holler
When the CD arrived in its quirky box packaging of a circular metal box with text like a ‘Oil Doctors’ medicine man dodgy cure-all, to be honest a thought ran across my cynical mind – is this a gimmick to compensate for what should be the main act (the recorded music)? This is a time when Bluesdoodles has enjoyed being proved wrong, as soon as the music hit the speaker I knew I was in for an audio treat and the packaging was what it should be clever, quirky. This was fantastic feel-good music that brings the swamps, bayous and sunshine of the southern state into your room and brightens your mood.
This is music delivered with Joie de vivre; delivering a range of sounds with a delectable combination of tones, instruments and vocal colour. “Stomp and Holler” may appear to be a new band but in reality there is long experience of the blues scene with six of the Midlands best known blues musicians that have joined together to bring a sound that is New Orleans plus some Midlands texture. The sound is every shade of blue captured in a tin shaken not stirred creating a wall of delight that gets the blood coursing through your veins and your foot a tapping and definitely this is dancing blues of the highest calibre. The use of four lead vocalist means that you have a depth of timbre and approaches that is unique combined with spellbinding flute, saxes, trumpet, New Orleans style keys and let’s not forget the guitar and the stalwart rhythm section of bass, drums and percussion this is really a full sound where every instrument has its place and the combination of vocals harmonise with a natural ease driving the lyrics on. The mix of songs chosen for the CD mesh together so that everyone’s instrumental and vocal range has an opportunity to shine their own shade of blue; but more important than this is the fact that it is a whole group working together comfortable with the multitudes and textures and shades and thus creating a complete sound that is dynamic and stunning to listen to. “Stomp and Holler” have created a blues CD that makes picking highlights and favourites impossible; every track has an element that will leave you full of musical joy. But a review is not a review without a selection so this is the very best of the best (as I write I know next time it will be a different four of the 10 tracks on offer!) ‘Evangaline‘ with its great horn intro and bouncy rhythm and some great harmonies, Jon Cleary’s ‘Crazy Up Here’ which is energetic and just such fun for your ears, ‘Webtop Checker‘, with is Waits-like tone and excellent use of percussion (this is perfect music to accompany a shot of sipping Whiskey…) then the excellent rearrangement of ‘St James Infirmary’ with its dark and moody intro followed by a deep gruff vocals that add so much to this song made me listen to the lyrics again and the last a contrast ‘Tell It Like It Is’ with Abby’s clear soprano and her beautiful keyboard playing adds some light to the aural experience that is “Stomp and Holler”.
This is a swampy, funky, melodic playing delivering an eclectic sound that is achieved by the clever mixing up of the talent of six musicians creating a blue to holler about that should be known as stomping blues. I for one will be surveying the gig list on the website; and hoping they are out on the road across the land as they must be great fun to hear live, once Chris returns from paternity leave at the end of September so we can all “Stomp and Holler”.