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@ The Minnesota Zoo, 9/5/98
by Ray Stiles

Photo © 1998 by Tom Asp. All rights reserved
The Boogiemen are a five-piece blues band who plays an energetic blend of traditional blues, rock-blues, R&B and rockabilly. Opening for Taj Mahal at the outdoor zoo amphitheater, the Boogiemen played a solid set of traditional Chicago styled electric blues. What's interesting about his band is their low-key approach and apparent lack of a front person. There is no one lead that takes center stage all the time. The band shares vocal duties and solos and even song writing with just about every member of the band -- making for a very solid and versatile group. The rhythm section is tight with a no-nonsense approach providing a solid foundation for the guitar, piano and harmonica solos. The members of the band include Paul Bergen on guitar and vocals, Chuck Edwards on vocals and harmonica, Glenn Manske on keyboards and vocals, Paul Manske on bass and vocals, and Joel Richmond on drums.

Paul Manske
Photo © 1998 by Tom Asp
All rights reserved
If there is a lead instrument in the band it would have to be the harp playing of Chuck Edwards who has a definite leaning toward the classic Chicago blues harp sound. In addition to this straight ahead, down-and-dirty blues, the band also blends in a definite R&B quality to their sound. They performed songs from their two Blue Loon albums "Scream 'n Howl" and "Boogie Time" (which was nominated by the Minnesota Music Awards for best blues recording of the year). From songs like the good-time beat of "Can't Stand It No More" with some Jerry Lee Lewis like licks on the keyboards to the Temptations and R&B sounding "Please Do Something." Throw in a shuffle or two like "Livin' Doll" from their first album and you have one solid blues band that can get any crowd up and dancing in short order. They even threw in the pop/soul sounds of "Snatching It Back" by southern soul singer Clarence Carter.

This was an excellent, although short set by the Boogiemen. They kept the pace lively, the energy high and had the crowd tapping their feet itching to get up and dance. Go see them live and if you don't have a copy of their 1997 release "Boogie Time" (Blue Loon Records BLN-033) go get one! It's one of the better releases from that year.

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Copyright 1998 by Ray M. Stiles. All rights reserved.