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Boogie Stuff - 2004 Have Mercy!


BOOGIE STUFF - HAVE MERCY (2004, SKY STUDIO PRODUCTIONS)
Horst Tolks - vocals, guitars
Andy Brotzner - bass, vocals
Fred Forrester - drums, percussion

Special Guest:
Jimmy Carl Black - vocals on tracks 11-13


Background
Germany has the ability to turn up the odd surprise or two. Not known for delivering the rock world with acts that have been slurried on the back of Jack Daniels, a garage load of Harleys and an armful of tattoos, they have turned up an outfit called Boogie Stuff - who play, as the title might suggest, hard edged blues/boogie in that traditional 'suvvern' style! Readers of this site might recall a few years ago our association with another German outfit called Southern Steel, who were good friends of Georgia rockers Doc Holliday. There was another German outfit too, called Nocturn, playing the same style. Well it appears that Boogie Stuff have been around a lot longer than both of those bands put together. Fifteen years in fact, and in that time have released three albums, with their latest 'Have Mercy!' now on show. Two other major features with this band. First, the assistance of Bobby Altvater, the main man behind Sky Studios in Munich and guitarist with hard rockers Affair, plus the appearance of Jimmy Carl Black, one of the original members of Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention. The combination provides for a high-octane brew of blues based riffarama. How three guys can create such mayhem in true southern tradition without the need for a trio of lead guitarists a la Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws or the Henry Paul Band is amusing indeed. Excess in this case is not an issue! On many occasions we hear Tolks sounding very much Danny Joe Brown.. is that a tribute? I very much think so!

The Songs
There's a heap of music to be had on this disc, 14 tracks, three of the last four are live versions with Jimmy Carl doing the honors. Plus we've got a bevy of covers. Atlanta Rhythm Section's 'Homesick' gets an excellent rendering here, the good ol' southern boy feeling coming through. ZZ Top's 'Just Got Paid' takes a ride through the pay-dirt backstreets of Houston TX on a one-way bus of electric blues. I just hope these boys know when and where to get off! 'Bad Boy' takes on a mid-west sound, like a edgier version of Jude Cole for instance. The band move into power-ballad territory with the seriously good 'Don't Believe A Word' - an ode to Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott who I'm sure will be impressed with the rendition. Boogie Stuff's version of 'Funky Town' is slightly different to these ears. Perhaps I'm so used to the Pseudo Echo version that anything by comparison will end up sounding second best. The closer 'Hello Baby' is showtime sounding blues, the sort of sound that Dave Lee Roth could make popular again!

In Summary
Lets be clear: what Boogie Stuff do they do damn well. The production is superb, and makes these guys sound like a million bucks. There's an inescapable 'retro' aspect to their sound, similar to some of those Swedish bands north of the border a la Lotus and Locomotive Breath. I'm sure that others will have a different interpretation of the Boogie Stuff sound once they hear them. Quite a lot of energy, and a big sound for a trio, and considering it's been fifteen years in the business, it's about time this lot became better known outisde of Germany. Check out their website www.boogiestuff.com to find out more about them.

URL: www.boogiestuff.com
Sponsor: Bobby Altvater and Sky Studios

Track Listing:
01 Muddy Water
02 Shake
03 Long Way To Memphis
04 Homesick
05 Bad Boy
06 Don't Believe A Word
07 Funky Town
08 Desert Night
09 Just Got Paid
10 Jungle Of Chicks
11 Indian Of The Group (Live)
12 Who Did You Love (Live)
13 Black Limousine (Live)
14 Hello Baby

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