Thursday, August 19, 2010
Artist: Rick Derringer
Title: The Three Kings of the Blues
Writer: Rick Galusha
It was hard to grow up in the ‘70’s and not know about Rick ‘Rock n’ Roll Hoochie Koo’ Derringer. Whether it was his band, ‘The McCoy’s’ 1965 #1 hit, ‘Hang on Sloopy’ (The Official Rock Song for the State of Ohio) or his self titled band’s FM flash, ‘Let Me In,’ Rick Derringer was a household name among avid music fans. Perhaps best known for his able support of Edgar and Johnny Winter, Derringer’s star diminished by the mid-1980s.
Down but never out Rick Derringer is back with a compilation on Shrapnel Records which pay homage to the three kings of the blues… B. B., Albert and Freddie. With tracks taken from previous Derringer solo efforts, this album is Derringer at his best. Like brass knuckles on a peroxide blonde Derringer takes ten blues standards, revs up his chainsaw guitar and double-times past any semblance of musical nuisance… and yet fun pervades this guilty pleasure. With songs like, ‘Key to the Highway,’ ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ and ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ Derringer delivers these tracks right between your eyes.
Purists will roll over and groan but contemporary blues fans (IE: Rock n’ Rollers) are going to eat this album with a fork and spoon. Programmers will want to use this CD like grease on a spitball when they reach up, caress the bill of their cap, and jumpstart listeners with a familiar sounding cover track. It ain’t art but then art never was a parameter for mass appeal. Look to Derringer’s version of Freddie King’s, ‘You’ve Got to Love Her With a Feeling’ as the gateway to the easily accessible sonnets of this record.