King Earl Boogie Band – Loaded & Live


England’s Dave Peabody, this quintet’s frontman, is usually found performing acoustic solo blues or in tandem with pianist Bob Hall, but is also an excellent photographer and music journalist. But there’s nothing academic about this spirited live outing; this is music to stomp and dance and drink to.

The opening “Money To Burn” is a steaming Peabody original, featuring Dave’s electric resophonic slide, John Coghlan’s backbeat snap on drums, and Mungo Jerry (“In The Summertime”) alumnus Colin Earl’s pounding piano. Elsewhere Peabody switches to a Fender Coronado Antigua – not your typical blues guitar – and does a decent job on straight guitar, but slide is his strong suit (check out his massive tone on “Blue Slate Slide”). Ian Campbell is best at handling the single-string leads; that’s him on the sustainy solo on “Matchbox.”

“Somebody Stole The Lock” has a New Orleans groove, with Earl showing off his Prof. Longhair licks, and “Going To The Dance,” another Peabody original, has a relaxed Jimmy Reed feel.

The only criticism is that the repertoire relies a bit too much on warhorses, like “What’d I Say” and “Who Do You Love,” although “Slow Down” gets a nice, mid-tempo makeover that distinguishes it from the countless Beatles and Larry Williams revamps. And “Rollin’ And Tumblin'” harkens back to Savoy Brown’s rocking take on “Louisiana Blues” – appropriately, since Colin is the brother of Savoy (and Foghat) drummer Roger Earl.

Even with that minor reservation, it’s obvious that the only thing better than listening to this live CD of KEBB would be attending one of their gigs.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jul. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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