The Young Guns
Happy Go Lucky
Scana (2003) CD8544
14 tracks, 56 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: July 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
Hailing from Sweden, The Young Guns consist of two guitarists, Daniel Kordelius and Emil
Arvidsson, along with Hans Ericsson and Christian Bergman making up the jackhammer rhythm
section, and while Sweden might not seem like a hotbed for jump, swing, and blues, this quartet
handles themselves and their material quite well. Kordelius dishes out some fiery Elmore James slide
on Happy Go Lucky Boy while on the Ray Charles nugget, Mess Around, his vocals are
a reminder of Fleetwood Mac's Jeremy Spencer. Arvidsson also hands in solid efforts on Alone As I
Am and Mama Told Me, with a bit more of an accent evident in his voice. She's An
Upsetter is a fine slow blues where Arvidsson displays the influence of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker
and a few others, but stands well combining his influences into a flowing style without overplaying, and
Kordelius lights the up the frets on the breakneck Let It Go. Other highlights include
Someway, Someday with its fiercely distorted guitar, Cold In My Soul which sounds like
it could have been written by Magic Sam or Otis Rush, and the pounding double-shuffle of Don't
You Listen To Him, proving this rhythm section from Sweden has the necessary drive and
communicative skills to thunder properly without forcing the groove. Rick Holmstrom gets a nod during
a fine cover of the quirky Uno Mas but the sleeper is Arvidsson's Driftin' Man with its
surging Westside restraint and crunching guitar. Watch for the hidden bonus track that goes
unmentioned in the liner notes or credits. www.theyoungguns.net
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