Jamie Oldaker – Mad Dogs & Okies

Jamie Oldaker - Mad Dogs & Okies

Jamie Oldaker – Mad Dogs & Okies

Although he’s played with a host a major acts, Jamie Oldaker is best known for his lengthy stint on drums with Eric Clapton. Usually sideman resumé records suffer from a lack of continuity, but, even though Oldaker neither sings nor writes any of the material here, and even hands over the drum stool on a few cuts, this star-studded collection somehow holds together – probably because a certain good-time atmosphere permeates all 15 cuts.

Vince Gill trades solos with Clapton on the opening “Wait ‘Til Your Daddy Gets Home,” written by Gill, but with a distinctly J.J. Cale feel. Cale gets a solo turn on “Daylight” and duets with Willie Nelson on “Motormouth” (both featuring Jimmy Karstein on drums), while Tony Joe White gives a nice reading of Cale’s ballad “Magnolia.”

There’s more musical chairs, as Clapton sings Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Positively” (with its composer on Dobro), while Ramsey is featured on “Sympathy For a Train.” And Zadig & Marcella (as in former Clapton backup singer Marc Levy) actually nail E.C.’s hit “Promises” better than the original.

Other highlights include Asleep At The Wheel’s Ray Benson, on “Time To Boogie,” and Taj Mahal, reunited with his Oklahoma bandmates from Natch’l Blues, bassist Gary Gilmore and drummer Chuck Blackwell, for two spirited cuts. Peter Frampton’s uplifting “Sending Me Angels” gets a helping hand from the Fisk Jubilee Singers, while such Tulsa stalwarts as guitarist Jim Byfield and keyboardist Walt Richmond pop up here and there. Leon Russell isn’t completely missing in action; Joe & Ellen (Feltsky) deliver a touching rendition of his “Song For You.” This is a truly enjoyable record that breaks all industry rules.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’05 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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