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James Oliver Band. – Humour Does Belong in Music

Released – November 2023 available from Reviewed - 20th November 2023 by Rockin Rebel

The Band James Oliver. Lead Vocal/ Lead Guitar Chris Bywater - Bass Mark kemlo - Drums

Review Humour Does Belong in Music was recorded live on the 27th of October 2023 by the JOB, the James Oliver band. from Blackwood, South Wales. James must be the most sought-after artist today, Playing his unique brand and style of Rockabilly, Rock n Roll, Blues and Country. His name is recognised by his peers and very much invited to play along side of them. Top stars like Albert Lee, Bill Kirchen, Deke Leonard, Greg Koch, Walter Trout, Steve Gibbons, Billy Bremner, Geraint Watkins. James also demonstrates his writing capabilities with four of his own compositions, Mean little mama, Only Thing I Lack a Cadillac, Chicken and the duck and American cars. Playing his 1954 fender tele deluxe reverb amp no pedals. Recorded at the temperance leamington spa. Paul Riley mixed it and Adrian Cains at temperance venue recorded it, having heard James before I know this will be a great album, so let’s take a listen.

Track by track Tear it Up. First recorded by Johnny Burnette in 1956 the new modern sound by James just breaths life back into the classic record. James opens this great cd with a little humour himself. Then the fingers hit the strings like a Porsche on the freeway, 100 miles an hour. In his very own style of singing and playing the 54 fender he captivates the audience within seconds. He is truly outstanding!

T-Bone Shuffle The great T-Bone Walker track, James recorded this track on his Live in the USA album back in 2022, and I thought then you wouldn’t be able to top that. But he has. He takes the middle solo so low that I bet Adrian who was recorded had kittens. He played then on Gibson ES-295, this time the fender just breaths fire from the strings. As usual the boys in the back just give James an outstanding backing. Great track. more humour from James and the guys.

American Cars High octane rock n rolls that hit like the force of nature. James plays notes, riffs and licks that have not even been invented yet. The lyrics give so many mentions to the classic car songs from over the years including Ike’s Rockett 88. This track was written by James himself and he gives it everything. Again a bit humour once again keeps the audience giggling

Hideaway There is no doubt that James likes to bring this track to the party. It's a joyful track that includes some hidden gems. The great Freddie king tracks will have the audience slapping the table. And you are treated to the best ever happy birthday to audience member in the style of a well known pianist (wink wink)

Who’s Been Talking Once again, some top guitar playing. A track done by the great Howling Wolf is paid tribute to as only James can. The wolf released his version in 1960 on chess records. James reveals that his version sounds nothing like the Wolf's version, but it holds all the key elements of the sounds of the delta blues which is what the Wolf was famous for. Great track boys!

Only think I Lack is Cadillac The second track to be written by James and it’s a belter. A fantastic rockabilly treat with a fast paced gem. The bands support James with some backing vocals and a great rhythm for him to rip it up on the stage. The shortest song on the set list but it's one you will play repeatedly.

Sweet Little Angel Continuing with a fast-paced rocker with some stunning strumming of that guitar. The drums are going mad with some stomping beats whilst James takes the guitar low down and dirty. He sends a daze over the audience with some crazy little riffs before exploding like a volcano and spewing hot sounds over them. More humour follows from the band leading to the next track.

Chicken and the Duck. A tongue twisting lyric rock n roll song. It's like Chuck Berry meets Screaming Lord Sutch. The farmyard animal impressions are a real treat and sure enjoyed by the applauding crowd. Boogie in the Hen house, but which one came first. Great rhyming lyrics from James who wrote this third self-penned track on the album.

Sleepwalk A track which will be known more by the shadows. But was First recorded in 1959 by Santo & Johnny. Calming tune from the boys that gives the crowd a chance to get their breath back.

Walk Don’t Run/Apache Over four minutes of awesomeness from this extraordinary talented musician. Playing these classics surf tracks like only he can. Followed by some audience banter.

Real Gone Lover Written-By Dave Bartholomew, Joseph Robichaux and Ruth Durand and best-known hit for Van Morrison. James twangs through this great track and I just love the fun that he has not only with the band but the riffs he does on the guitar. Superb break instrumental with some more unusual playing. Great vocal style from James and great backing from the band.

Mean Little Mama A self-penned track to bring the album to a close but not the show. The lyrics are of a true story that James explains prior to the song. He closes with some of his unique playing which had the crowd clapping for more.

Summary Not much more can be said about the excellent music by JOB. He really is a force of power with guitar strings, and James shows his comic side by bringing funny tales and stories with each track. I know that there is a lot more releases coming from the band, but it's nice to hear and see the funny side of them. In this world today we need all the fun we can and, as the title says, Humour Does Belong in Music.

Recommendation You would be daft to miss out. Superb album.

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