HI-FLY RANGERS - SONGS INSPIRED BY CHARLIE FEATHERS.
Release Date: March 2023. Reviewed 20th March 2023 by Dave Diamond.
BAND MEMBERS: Vocals, Rhythm Guitar: Vesa Haaja Guitar: Kari Kunnas Bass: Jake Lähdeniemi Guest musicians Featuring. Jani Ahtiainen drums. Heikki Pirhonen on piano Produced by Vesa Haaja. Recorded and mixed by: Kari Kunnas Front cover artwork: Kari Kunnas Tracks written by Vesa Haaja Distribution: https://goofinrecords.fi/
Let’s have a listen to the tracks – Sugar Daddy – kickin off this 4 track E.P. This track is driven by Jake's slapping bass and a fantastic guitar riff from Kari and a fab strong lead vocal by Vesa…. you can really see the Feathers influence on this opening number…it has a fantastic build up towards the end… rockabilly to the maximum and a great bopping tune indeed…at 3 minutes and 5 seconds I love it and can see it being a big dancefloor hit at the clubs… bop Kat bop it moves me! It could be right outta Meteor/King Records daddio!
I Can’t See Clear – second track in and this one is a slow melodic number from the trio, and a much deeper lead vocal from Vesa, slap bass is higher in the mix and very dominant on the verses with the guitar coming in and out with some fab chords, excellent self-penned lyrics once again from the guys. This tune is a twisted story about a guy who gets high and drunk and is totally bewildered and wondering what the hell has happened to his fiancée lying dead on the kitchen floor covered in blood…
Stutterin’ Guy – this number has a fantastic bluesy rockin vibe to it and a strollin’ beat. It sure is a terrific reply to Charlie’s Stutterin’ Cindy, and has a great hic-cup stutterin’ vocal from Vesa, with Kari twangin/pickin’ tremendous geetar work, mixed in with Jakes fab bass runs, and on this tune the trio are joined by Jani on the drums…this number could easily have been released in 1956-57. It’s such a very well worked out song and deserves some airplay!
A Boy From Backwood – final track on this E.P. this has a great kick to it, and the band have gone with a bopper to end this release… dig man dig, this is a tremendous finale and a stompin’ tune that has Charlie Feathers written all over it… it’s a new version from the trio with added piano by Heikki this time round (previously featured on the band’s first album) and has a fab rock n roll feel to it detailing the fictional story of a carefree hillbilly rockabilly kat… yeah!…it even has a drop down section just like That Certain Female…and a fab run out with more hic-cupping vocals..just under 3 minutes of non-stop rockin!
In their own words –about the band when formed gigs etc and band influences? Vesa started Hi-fly Rangers in 2006 when he was asked to bring a new rockabilly trio to Senigallia Summer Jamboree, a big roots music festival held in Italy. His other bands Whistle Bait and Barnshakers had already been billed on that festival so he had to come up with something new to keep the promoter happy. Vesa new Kari Kunnas through his band work with him in the 80's when they had a band called Frantic Four which did some local gigs and recordings. Kari was at the moment a lead guitarist in another finish rockabilly group Daryl Haywood Combo where Jake Lähdeniemi played bass. Vesa, Kari and Jake had a session where they found out that they all enjoyed same kind of three-piece 50's style rockabilly. They made their first release 'Hot Rod Ride to The Moon' cd album for Goofin' Records in 2006. In 2009 they released a 7" vinyl EP 'Oh Baby Don't Go' on their own label Wax-O Records. 2013 came the next album 'Another Gear’. 2022 they released a 10” vinyl album ”GO FEATHERS” which had been Vesa’s dream for a long time as a hardcore Charlie Feathers fan. As a side result the band had written songs in style of C.F. which came out now on this EP. Please check our WEBSITE www.hi-flyrangers.net
CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM Wow!! What an exceptional 4 track E.P. this is and a fantastic tribute to the great man Charlie Feathers… This trio really have hit the bullseye with the tracks featured and all four of them are really fantastic and the musicianship is of a great standard indeed.. I have really enjoyed listening to all the numbers and as I said they could have been recorded in the 1950’s… Be sure to grab a copy and D.J’s make sure you get this record in your box as soon as possible! Lastly the band tell me their favourite moment was when they played the Charlie Feathers project at last year’s gig with Bubba Feathers at The Screamin’ Festival (2022) which was billed as a Charlie Feathers 90th Birthday Celebration!
YOU TUBE CLIP: https://youtu.be/Q0JkxikHeEM