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Lena & The LoveKills - Self Titled.

Released; 1st March 2023 Reviewed by Terry Mead 01/06/2023. Listen to the album here:

Minneapolis based band, Lena & The LoveKills, exist in a musical genre all their own. The band fuses elements of Rockabilly, Danceable Swing, Jump Blues and R&B into an eclectic mix of good music and fun times that can only rightfully be described as “Swingabilly.” Their stage presence, retro look, and often quirky sense of humour delights listeners and gets folks onto the dance floor.

Who’s in the band: Lori(aka Lena) Carter-Vocals Tommy Love-Guitar Tom Hels-Drums Dan Peterson-Bass

This album has been produced with the view of having some recordings ready for the resent Viva weekend, it contains one self-penned number and five covers.

Let’s review track by track: Lena & The LoveKills (Saturday Night)- Self-penned title track written by Bass player Danny Peterson, top jump-jive number with some momentous guitar licks and cool bass breaks. This one is certainly going to be a dancefloor filler.

Jungle man- With an intro reminiscent of a 1960s instrumental this catchy singalong tune with a kind of cha cha beat and a mid-way middle eastern break is a great mix for a lively tune. It's rather an obscure number originally sung by Lanie Lane.

Rock and Roll Guitar- Rockabilly tune from Johnny Knight back in 1958 with a unique twangy riff which has been kept here and well enhanced might I add. This is a great upbeat number one to hit the dancefloor with.

Why Don't You Do Right – Originally recorded as ”Weed Smokers Dream’ in 1936 and credited to Kansas Joe McCoy, Peggy Lee made it popular in 1943.This cover version is as close to the Peggy Lee rendition as you can get without the backing of Benny Goodman’s orchestra. Lena’s vocals perpetuate the sounds of the 1940s era here and the soft drum beat with the brushes give it the final touch.

Wine, Wine, Wine- Composed and recorded originally by Jimmy Binkley on Checker in 1955, this is a soft cruisy blues number which has a neat guitar riff running through it and some cool harmonising by The Lovekills, the only difference to Jimmy’s recording is the absence of the piano but this doesn’t deter this cover: it's one for the dim lite smoke-filled bars that the era produced.

Money-Cover of the1959 Barrett Strong song which had a reprieve four years later when The Beatles covered it. This is very much the later version with a nice laid-back beat to dance to. The raunchy voice of Lena glides you through the musical overtures produced by The Lovekills with some catchy riffs.

To summarise: Its great that some of these old forgotten numbers are being revitalised again and Lena and the Lovekills have certainly done them proud here to add to this is the self-penned title track which is in itself a tune full of energy. I think we are going to hear a lot of Lena and the Lovekills in the near future.

Band Biography in Lena’s own words:

Tommy Love (guitar) and I formed the band about 6 years ago after being introduced by a friend who met Tommy at an art show. Tommy is a firefighter, so he was the fire inspector at the art show. After several bass players, Covid and personal setbacks we've finally found the line-up that feels right!

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