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MP3 The Wildcards - Raising Hell
English blues sensations The Wildcards have produced an album of startling originality, entertaining lyrics and amazingly-accomplished tunes. An undeniably-cool blend of jump jive, blues, jazz and rockabilly with great guitar tones and killer beats.
12 MP3 Songs
BLUES: Electric Blues, BLUES: English Style
note: This version of Raising Hell available on CDBABY features a deluxe 12 page booklet, over 40 photographs and detailed track information!
"The bands incorporation of rock-a-billy, swing and the Blues certainly brings to mind Reverend Horton Heat, but this British act are far more imaginative - putting together a marvellously diverse collection of songs that show a creative edge all too many UK Blues acts seem to lack. This deserves to achieve big things for the band."
Blues Matters! magazine, UK
"I received the album on Saturday morning and have to say it is first class. Every track is great - one of the best opening numbers to an album I''ve heard in ages."
A satisfied fan
"A must have CD"
Back To The Roots, Belgium
"...This is a band with the individual skills and collective creativity to take the music to a new higher level. There isn''t a better backline in Britain and you''ll not hear better guitar interplay than that achieved by Martin and Vince, a great platform for the latter to show his world-class palying and singing. I think of The Wildcards as a fusion of the best of American and British styles: a robust blend of West-Coast rhythms, Mississippi deep blues, cool jazz and that heady Gene Vincent rockabilly thing. It''s not only artistically satisfying, it''s pretty darned exciting to listen to!"
Blues In Britain magazine, UK
- BIOGRAPHY -
The Wildcards are quickly becoming the hottest act on the European blues and roots circuit. Whilst their success seems fast on a scene that can take acts years to establish themselves, these four British musicians are certainly no newcomers. Between them over the past 15 years they have released successful and critically acclaimed albums and have made innumerable appearances in over 20 countries, on both sides of the Atlantic and at just about every major European blues festival. The Wildcards have brought together a wealth of experience and a reputation for exciting, high-class performances into one blisteringly hot band, and they''re causing a sensation wherever they go!
In 2002, soon after the untimely demise of one of finest R&B bands on the circuit - The Nightporters, two former members - guitarist Martin Vowles and drummer Kevin Crowe, set about putting together a band that would capture the excitement and intensity of the legendary Nightporters performances and elevate the music to a new higher level.
Finding that line-up was far easier than first expected. A chance meeting in a late night venue in the South West of England, saw Kevin and Martin blown away watching two guys in the band Vince Lee & The Big Combo; the criminally un-famous bandleader Vince Lee, a truly jaw-dropping world class guitarist and very fine singer and Al Wallis, a bass player of immense groove and ability. It was immediately obvious that these guys had everything it takes... and more, to fit the bill.
Since The Wildcards inception back in 2003, the band have been wowing audiences right across Europe with their explosive sound and groundbreaking approach to material, appearing at many of the biggest and best Blues festivals and clubs and building a sizeable and devout fan-base. Some of those appearances include:
Moulin Blues Festival, Holland / Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne, UK / Blues On The Farm Festival, UK / Gevarenwinkel Blues Festival, Belgium plus many, many more shows in Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Denmark, Finland, France and of course the U.K!
On the 8th November 2004 The Wildcards released their much-anticipated debut CD “On Fire!” The album captures the band in fantastic form and has picked up rave reviews around the World including various “Blues CD Of The Month” awards from the U.K. Holland, Belgium and France. Tracks from the album are regularly featured on some of the best blues and roots radio shows including BBC Radio 2 - England, Radio 1 - Belgium, Le Collectif Des Radios Blues – France, Sounds Of Blues, New York – USA, The Blues Disease, California – USA, Bluezy – Holland to name just a few.
Reviews of On Fire! immediately got the press worked up too and inspired quotes such as;
“…simply the best and most exciting blues release of the year”
“…this deserves to achieve big things for the band”
“…true jump and blues sounds played with great guitar tones, killer beats, capital-letter Attitude and tons of talent”
“…the CD marks the arrival of the Wildcards as the best new prospect in years. Vince Lee is a world-class singer and guitarist, with a band to match”
In the summer of 2006 the band were thrilled to be asked by one of the Blues World’s finest harmonica players and singer songwriters, Texan legend Gary Primich to be his band for his forthcoming European tour. It was a fine collaboration and Gary and the boys hit the road in October 2006 playing 10 blistering shows across Europe to packed houses.
Fast forward to 2007 and exactly a year after that tour, The Wildcards have released their second studio album entitled “Raising Hell”. It’s an album of startling originality, entertaining lyrics and amazingly-accomplished tunes. An undeniably-cool blend of jazz, jump jive, blues and rockabilly. All this is given a wicked ‘voodoo’ edge with Louisiana and Caribbean influences bubbling up all over. Raising Hell is already causing a stir with reviewers, gathering quotes such as “Musical mayhem worthy of Screaming Jay Hawkins or Louis Jordan. Yes, it’s that good!” and "A must have CD"
With this fine album just released, a rapidly growing fan-base and busy touring schedule booked for 2008, The Wildcards current position can be summed up well with another recent quote….
“…entertaining musical and lyrical wit way beyond most bands, the Wildcards are surely poised on the edge of real acclaim”
Vince Lee - Guitar / Vocals, Martin Vowles - Guitar, Al Wallis - Bass, Kevin Crowe - Drums
On Fire! (2004) / Raising Hell (2007)
Review - Raising Hell
Listen to the entertaining lyrics or just let yourself go to their urgently-swinging, amazingly-accomplished and undeniably-cool blend of jazz, jump jive, blues and rockabilly, given a wickedly ‘voodoo’ edge with Louisiana and Caribbean influences bubbling up all over, and you can’t fail to be bowled over by its startling originality. This well-recorded CD (a worthy successor to fine 2004 debut “On Fire”) captures their thrilling many-layered live sound so well that new delights emerge with every playing and you get the feeling it’s never going to be far from your record player.
Their impeccably empathetic playing is enhanced by great arrangements and a unifying concept feel symbolised by the eerie cover drawing of four leering skeletons playing instruments atop an old-style hearse providing fair warning of the dark delights within. At the album’s greasy heart lies a magnificently woozy version of the blues standard ‘St James Infirmary’ with an electrifying half-way lurch into a musical mayhem worthy of Screaming Jay Hawkins or Louis Jordan. Yes, it’s that good.
With a striking air of brooding menace, lots of dark humour and an entertaining musical and lyrical wit way beyond most bands, the Wildcards are surely poised on the edge of real acclaim. Listen to the sophisticated calypso and Latin touches on the Squirrel Nut Zippers’ ‘Hell’, the deliriously carnivalesque version of Louis Jordan’s ‘Run Joe’, the scarifying ‘Hoodoo Preacher’ (composed by harmonica-player Gary Primich, with whom they toured last year), and the suitably staggery rhythms of the band original ‘Drunk’. There isn’t a weak track on the album, their own material easily matching their well-chosen covers, though they may have saved the best till last with the epic Vince Lee original ‘Hard Luck Tale’, featuring eerie keyboards from guest Paul Harris. A class act.
Dave Kingsbury - Writer for Blues Matters, Blues In Britain.
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