Dr. Harmonica and Rocket 88 – Swingin’ Easy Live

Swingin' Easy Live

Yow! Dr. Harmonica (Mark Kenneally) and the boys swing, jump, shuffle, and do everything in between on this wonderful live effort. You’ll know some of the tunes – there are nice remakes of “Turn On Your Lovelight,” and “Help Me.” There are also some very cool originals, like “Bad Habits.”

The band plays blues, and plays ’em funky. Sometimes it feels like Muddy Waters mixed with James Brown. A remake of The Meters’ “Hey Pocky A-Way” might even bring Little Feat to mind. Throughout it all, the good doctor blows some fabulous harmonica and sings in a gruff blues manner that calls to mind giants of the genre. The rest of the band is wonderful. Saxophonist Alan Yandziak turns in some killer solos, as does guitarist Roger Girke. His soloing on “Whip It On Me” and “Get Out of My Life Woman” set the pace for each song. His rhythm work is even more fun. He’s definitely gone well past “Funk 101.” Check out “Big Chief,” or the aforementioned Meters tune, “Killer Stuff.”

I’d love to tell you how to get a copy of this, but there isn’t an address listed on the CD. If I get a number or address I’ll list it in a later issue. Recommended.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’99 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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