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Ric Lee's Natural Born Swingers - Put a Record On

  by Lisa Torem

published: 12 / 1 / 2013

Ric Lee's Natural Born Swingers - Put a Record On
Label: Floating World Records
Format: CD


Astounding debut album from blues super group Ric Lee’s Natural Born Swingers’, which as well as Ten Years After drummer Ric Lee, also features pianist Bob Hall who was a founder member of Savoy Brown

Ric Lee’s Natural Born Swingers’ debut CD, ‘Put a Record On’, is an astounding debut, but then again the band is comprised of some very talented musicians who have more than paid their dues. Ric Lee was the drummer in Ten Years After, and Bob Hall (Groundhogs, Savoy Brown) is an outrageous blues/boogie woogie pianist. On guitar and vocals is Danny Handley, who doubles as a witty songwriter and on bass is Scott Whitley. The album features a wonderful mix of styles and unbeatable energy. The last tune, ‘I Can’t Get My Ass in Gear,’ certainly has a theme we can all relate to (especially on Monday morning), and might have been a dazzling opener, but the cover ‘I Want to Know’ is a brilliant choice as well. It makes full use of these competent and imaginative mavericks. ‘Don’t Want You Woman’ was written by none other than Alvin Lee, and with Danny Handley on vocals, a winning formula ensues. Danny Handley also does a soulful job on the title song, ‘Put a Record On,’ which could have easily been recorded by a Sam Cook eor Otis Redding back in the day. ‘The Hills of Afghanistan’ seems a little out of touch with the others theme-wise, but it’s still got something to say. Bob Hall sings lead vocals on ‘Keep On Singing the Blues.’ Part of the fun of this album is how the guys share duties amongst each other and this effort keeps it all fresh and original sounding. ‘It’s Too Late,’ was written by Danny Handley alone – many of the songs were written by either Bob Hall or both gentlemen. “It’s gonna be too late now to kiss me when I’m dead,” he threatens so sweetly. Savoy Brown’s electrifying guitarist, Kim Simmonds adds superb lustre. It’s a clever mix of instrumentals and attitude. ‘I Don’t Play Boogie’ has even more of that funky spirit and has elements of Western swing. ‘Bad Feeling Blues’ by Handley and Hall really takes the blues to a whole new, visceral level. And the next co-write, ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing to You’ has lyrics that cut through the coldest heart. ‘A Fool Like Me’, which also crosses over into country and ‘Passing On Blues’ are both great examples of ensemble work and sound like classics already. ‘Rock Your Mama’ is another Alvin Lee cover, and it includes Paul Jones on blues harp and extraordinary guitar by Handley, Mark Pullin and Virgil McMahon. Bob Hall’s piano through out the album is clever and full of surprises. “Put a Record on” is highly recommended for anyone who already enjoys the blues but wants some diversity.

Track Listing:-
1 I Want To Know
2 Don't Want You Woman
3 Put a Record On
4 The Hills of Afghanistan
5 Keep On Singing the Blues
6 It's Too Late
7 I Don't Play Boogie
8 Bad Feeling Blues
9 It Don't mean a Thing to You
10 A Fool Like Me
11 Passing On Blues
12 Rock Your Mama
13 I Can't Get My Ass in Gear

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