The Cash Box Kings

The Cash Box Kings
Holler and Stomp

Blind Pig Records

By Ms. Marci
January 2012

Four words; THIS IS THE BLUES! Among the twelve cuts on this disc there are eight that were written by band members, mostly by Joe Nosek, the blues harp player and vocalist for this band. The covers are tastefully chosen and diverse. Mick Jagger/Keith Richards, Ray Sharpe, (Sam) Lightning Hopkins, Muddy Waters and even Hank Williams songs are all treated with respect! All the musicians on this recording reek of authenticity.

This disc starts out with the title track, "Holler and Stomp," an up-tempo number penned by CashBox Kings' Joe Nosek. This song makes you wanna holler 'n' stomp! From there on, this CD grabs your ear and holds it. Another Nosek tune, "That's My Gal," echoes "Scratch My Back" but with their own unique touch, much like the treatment of "Off The Hook" by Jagger/Richards. I almost didn't recognize it. Muddy's "Feel Like Going Home" - sounds like a really good remix of the original Lomax recording. I think the old man (a term of endearment for Mr. Waters) would have been pleased.

Without taking every slice of this pie and telling you how it tastes, I must say that it stays true to the roots with a serious yet playful touch. One of the two instrumentals, "Hayseed Strut," is just that, playful with a country-blues groove.

The Lightning Hopkins’ song, "Katie Mae,” like the previous Waters' song, I believe would have made Lightnin' flash a gap toothed smile! I think Hank Williams wouldn't have minded the treatment of his "Blues Comes Around." Its bouncy shuffle beat is engaging ... even if you're not fond of country music.

The other instrumental and last song on this CD, "Tribute To The Black Lone Ranger," is another fun, almost a "I Got My Mojo Workin" train rhythm, is as it says, a tribute to (quoting the CD liner notes) "An Afro-American blues man who used to hang around and perform at The Checkerboard Lounge dressed in full Lone Ranger costume." I saw this man a while back on Maxwell St. inChicago, IL. Let me say this, I don't wonder why Nosek wrote a song for him. Who was that masked man? (I know ... I'm dating myself) I don't know, but everybody knew him as "The Black Lone Ranger!"

I've heard some people say, "The Blues? That's sad music, isn't it?" They need to hear "Holler and Stomp." It'll change their minds in a South Side second!

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