Saturday 14 April 2012

Review: The 44s

The 44s - Americana (Rip Cat)
For their sophomore album ‘Americana’, Southern Californian four-piece The 44s are reunited with the estimable Kid Ramos for another collection of uncomplicated but wholly satisfying blues rock tunes.

Mike Tuturro and J.R. Lozano form as tight a rhythm section as you’ll find anywhere, providing a solid back drop for singer/guitarist Johnny Main’s Chicago-inspired licks and hard-edged vocals, and blasts from Tex Nakamura’s honking harp. From the hard rocking opener ‘Hanging Tree’ to the rockabilly ‘Dixie’, the Elmore James- recalling ‘Pleading My Case’, and the smokey ‘Mr Operator’, the band turns in a solid, versatile and confident performance; which is taken to incendiary levels by a series of blistering solos from former Fabulous Thunderbird/Fabuloco Ramos on the title track and ‘Cocaine’, Nakamura on ‘She’s Poison’, and the Main man in particular on slow-burning future classic ‘Hard Times’.
Neil B.

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