Submitted by: kitti
Publication date - 08 March 2008
The album “Roadhouse Riot” welcomes you to the world of love, sorrow, dancin' and beer.
The first song “Losing Her Memory” opens the doors and invites us back to the past to a cozy bar filled with smoke and music, where people drink, chat and share their tragic life and love stories.
The Gin Palace Jesters, a Chicago hillbilly honky tonk band (with five members swapping lead vocals), will help us to show all dark and bright sides of country music on their new album. I like their previous CD “Honky Tonk Fools” very much, and as for me I think it had more rockin’ tunes, which I liked a lot. Though this one is also perfectly arranged and produced (well, probably because the producer of it is also the lead singer, guitar player and talented songwriter Dave Sisson… so he knows exactly how to show the heart and soul of his band). And having the beautiful addition Katie Schadegg on fiddle (just listen to those sweet solos in “Second Fiddle” or “Down Beneath The Willow”) and also as back and lead vocal singer helps the band makes their sound complete.
All 14 songs, from love ballads (such as “Moonbeam”, with crying pedal steel and shadowing it clear fiddle playing) to drinking and dancing honky tonk songs (like “You Cry Alone”), have their own features (and its own precise comment if you open booklet and read it carefully). Most of the them are self-penned, only two are covers – “Second Fiddle” (of Alvis Edgar (Buck) Owens) and “Are You Missing Me”, where you can hear wonderful duet of Dave Sisson and Casey Stockdon, the bass player (also playing banjo on some tracks), covering The Louvin Brothers’ song. “Too Sad To Stay” is one more treasure you can discover on this CD. This slow and sorrowful composition contains short solos of every instrument. Especially I enjoyed the pedal steel sound of Gabriel Stutz and lead guitar of "Pennsylvania" Dave Sisson. Roadhouse Riot – certainly the central song of the album perfectly shows the live atmosphere of those days and the mix of instruments with wonderful harmony singing makes this song really very special and gives the feeling of jumpin’ up and joinin’ the dancing crowd. Another favorite is “Hit the Bricks”, where you can recognize the rockabilly sound and hear the nice work of drummer Rick Muravski keeping proper rhythm and giving proper mood for the song where you can immediately recognize influence of Carl Mann. The last song “Last One’s Left Waltz” is perfect for moving around the dance floor in country western waltz and at the same time with it warm sadness waving us goodbye, but promising to meet again next time.
One more person left unnoticed. And this is the essential one - Ken “the Mayor” Mottet – acoustic rhythm guitar player. You are not only hear his supportive and thus ideal playing in every track, but can also hear his singing his own composition “Alison Rose”. Very good vocal and cute song!
And finally, I would also add some words about front cover. It is not only music itself who deep you into western swing and honky tonk, you don’t even need to open cd box to understand what is all about. Two sentences “The Gin Palace Jesters” and “Road Riot... and other songs with words” already prepare you to hear the perfect sound (and show that this album is worth to have on your shelf as a must addition to your collection of honky tonk music)… but with the combination of nice work of art by Jimmy Sutton it gives no doubt what this CD is going to be about.
Well, instrumentally professional band plus ideal vocal and harmony singing plus knowledge of style plus interesting full of sense lyrics… Well, sounds quite perfect to me!