Alligator Stew is a five man southern rock outfit that puts out
kickassed fun boogie rock and roll with blues influence. This CD is a
mixed bag of live and studio tracks. Suprisingly the live tracks are
better than the studio tracks at the end of the CD. I think it's because
of the energy that comes across on the CD. Eleven of the fifteen tracks
are live, and only a few were on their previous studio CD. Gary Jeffries
has an excellent voice for this style of music. His voice has enough
grit that it matches the instrumental portions perfectly.
The Live songs:
'Louisiana Man' opens the CD. It's a swampy uptempo song. It reminds me
of a faster Polk Salid Annie. 'Shiner' slows down a bit but with a
similar style as 'Louisiana Man'. 'I Know You Too Well' gets into
straight ahead rock territory. Think of a countryfied version of Cheap
Trick. 'Rose Thorn Bed' could be classed as a southern anthem. Lots of
slide guitar on this one. 'Doesn't Reallly Matter' leans a bit towards
country territory. A funky beat with some lap steel guitar and harmonica
dominate on this song. Think of some of the current crop of "country"
stars and what they are doing and you might get a feel for this song.
It's more rock and roll than country. 'Blood Money' is one of my
favorites on this CD. I guess you could describe it as a slow minor
anthem. It's pretty much a rant against the legal system. 'Two Wheels',
from their first CD, is obviously a biker themed song. Again it's a
boogie tune mixing lap steel guitar in traditional southern rock format
to great effect.
A couple of cover songs are included. 'Green River/Susie Q' is always a
crowd favorite. Do we need another version of these songs....no....but
they certainly do a great job on them. The production on Alligator
Stew's version is better than the original from Creedance Clearwater.
Creedance's sound never got away from sounding like it was recorded in a
garage while Alligator Stews version is loud and full. The other cover
is Bob Segar's 'Turn The Page'. This one is fairly faithful to the
original except for some country style lap steel licks which add to the
The Studio songs:
'The Heist' tries to tell a song about a robbery, but sort of misses the
mark. It's a slow almost country sounding song. 'Missin My Friends' is a
studio version of the live track included on this CD. It's a little
fuller musically than the live version but the live version has a really
nice basic sound to it thats really good. 'Far Beneath The Rubble' leans
into folk territory, with acoustic picked guitar. This is a really basic
song, just a slow vocal and single finger picked acoustic guitar. It's
actually the best of the studio songs in my opinion. It's easy to sound
good with distorted guitars and a full band, but a single voice and
acoustic guitar requires talent to sound good and this song is good.
Bottom Line: Fun southern blues rock and roll. These guys have to be
crowd pleasers wherever they perform. I've loaned this CD to several
people I know, who normally listen to a wide range of music, and reviews
from all of them are either "great" or better. This is another keeper
from the Alligator Stew boys. If you like boogie rock and roll, Lynyrd
Skynyrd or still hanker for southern kickassed rock, check this CD out.
Visit their web site and sample some of the other tracks they have
available. I give it four out of five stars cause live CD's are much
harder to do well than in the studio.
Get the CD at www.cdbaby.com
send $15.00 to:
628 East Magnolia Suite A
Burbank, CA 91501
Gary Jefffies - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica, acoustic guitar
John Andrews - Lap steel guitar, lead guitar, mandolin
Doug Richardson - bass, background vocals
TC Markle - drums, percussion
Chris Turbis - Piano, Hammond B3, Background vocals
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