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Flip Our Wigs by Milt Trenier

Released 2023 on Bullseye (a sub label of El Torro), the catalogue number is BE136. NOTE - This is currently only available on vinyl, but it is available to stream from Spotify with extra tracks not on the LP. Reviewed November 2023

Milt Trenier was an American Rhythm & Blues and Jump Blues singer. He did eventually join his brothers, Cliff Trenier, Claude Trenier and Buddy Trenier in the group bearing their family name, The Treniers., however this collection focuses on Milt’s own recordings.

Review Track by track SIDE A 1 - Squeeze Me - Milt Trenier & His Solid Six. Originally released on RCA Victor in 1953. A good example of a big band R&B jiver in the mould of Wynonie Harris to get this album started. 2 - Rock Bottom – This was on the other side of “Squeeze Me” and is another good rocker with a top notch sax break and a pounding piano. 3 - Flip Our Wigs - Milt Trenier & His Solid Six. The title track which also dates from 1953 is Milt’s second single for RCA Victor. Wild jump blues, high octane backing and full bloodied vocals. 4 - You're Killin' Me. The B side of “Flip Our Wigs”. A rather solemn start reminding us of the Sixth Commandment gives way to a mid-paced R&B number. A good stroller and another fine example of saxophone playing. 5 - Hey You – Milt Trenier with The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet. This is also from 1953 but not issued by RCA Victor at the time. Another good jiver with a solid beat laid down by the drummer ably assisted by the guitar and sax players. 6 - I Got The Blues So Bad – Milt Trenier with The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet. Another unissued recording from 1953. This has more of mambo feel to it as opposed the rocking R&B so far on the album. For me the guitar break is the highlight of the track. 7 - Straighten Up Baby - Milt Trenier with The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet. This was released on the Groove label in 1954. A bluesy rocker that is a good stroller. 8 - Why - Groove 0008 – The B side of “Straighten Up Baby” this is a bluesy ballad with Milt proving he’s not just an R&B shouter.

SIDE B 1 - Day Old Bread - Milt Trenier. Another single from 1954 on the Groove label. A mid paced rocker with some good backing vocals to supplement a solid drum beat and some impressive work by the saxophonist. 2 - Give A Little Time- 1954 – Originally the B side of “Day Old Bread” this 45 on Grove is a great double sider. A solid back beat, a great rocking track. 3 - Lady Luck – Recorded in 1954 for Groove but not issued at the time yet this is another fine example of Milt’s work so it is hard for me to work out why they did not release it. 4 - Ain't Nothing Wrong With My Baby – Also from and 1954 and not issued by Groove at the time. Milt as a crooner rather than a rocker. A nice enough track that shows another side of the artist’s range. 5 - Gonna Catch Me A Rat - Milton Trenier. Recorded in 1959 for Dot records. This is more poppy than Milts earlier work. Slightly gimmicky with a “Middle of The Road” feel. 6- Time Out For Tears – The other side of “Gonna Catch Ma A Rat”. This a definite pop ballad with strings and backing vocals so popular at the time. Bonus tracks – The Treniers featuring Milton Trenier on lead vocals. 7 - When You're Finished Talkin' (Let's Make Some Love) – From 1956 an unissued track from Milt with his brothers in the Treniers. For me the best ballad on the album. 8 - The Longest Walk – Another unissued song from 1956 that has Milt performing a swinging rocker with a light, pop feel. Summary and Recommendation I expect many reading this will be aware of the Treniers who are best known for their spirited appearances in classic rock and roll films such as “Don't Knock the Rock” and “The Girl Can't Help It”, but not be aware of Milt’s work. This album is well worth buying as it completes the picture of what was an amazing musical family. The sound quality is excellent throughout. Reviewed by Jailhouse John Alexander

Track List A1 Milt Trenier & His Solid Six – Squeeze Me A2 Milt Trenier & His Solid Six – Rock Bottom A3 Milt Trenier & His Solid Six – Flip Your Wigs A4 Milt Trenier & His Solid Six – You're Killin' Me A5 Milt Trenier With The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet – Hey You A6 Milt Trenier With The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet – I Got The Blues So Bad A7 Milt Trenier With The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet – Straighten Up Baby A8 Milt Trenier With The Gene Gilbeaux Quartet – Why B1 Milt Trenier – Day Old Bread B2 Milt Trenier – Give A Little Time B3 Milt Trenier – Lady Luck B4 Milt Trenier – Ain't Nothing Wrong With My Baby B5 Milt Trenier – Gonna Catch Me A Rat B6 Milt Trenier – Time Out For Tears B7 The Treniers Featuring On Lead Vocals Milt Trenier – When You're Finished Talking (Let's Make Some Love) B8 The Treniers Featuring On Lead Vocals Milt Trenier – The Longest Walk

Band Bio Milt was born in Mobile, Alabama, the youngest of 10 children, in a musical family. His father played French horn in a band; his mother taught piano. In the late 1940s, his older brothers, twins Claude and Cliff, formed a duet, which became a trio when brother Buddy came aboard and a quartet when Milt got out of the Army in 1953. You can see them in grainy kinescopes on YouTube, dressed in matching tuxes, rocking out and performing synchronized dance moves, years before the Temptations. Bill Haley was a cowboy singer before he saw The Treniers.

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