Live at Viva Las Vegas 25 – Suzie and the AcceleratorZ.
Released - April 27-30, 2023 Reviewed 6th June 2023 by Rockin Rebel Listen to the album here: https://suzieandtheacceleratorz.com/listen-to-the-music/
Recorded live at The Orleans Hotel and Casino - Las Vegas, NV. A great live set from the band that only formed in 2020. This brilliant band comes from all over the USA: Suzie born in Los Angeles, California, David was born in Milwaukee and Steve in south California. Tod was originally from Yonkers in New York, but now they all live in the districts of Arizona. The cover art was created by David Steward. Steve McGovern is the main writer for the band and does all the arrangements for any cover songs. The band has it all and it was whilst they were doing a sound check that the sound engineer was astonished by what he was hearing and asked the band if he could record their set, now nobody is going to refuse that offer and the band were delighted to have a live album to release. Steve informs me that the future is bright, and more recordings are already being planned along with videos to go alongside tracks like My Hot Rod, Ghost of Route 666. Hopefully a European tour will also be taking place in the not-too-distant future.
Members are Suzie Steward – vocals and Harmonica. Steve McGovern – vocals and Guitar. David Steward - upright Bass Todd Burr – Drums
Track by Track Crazy Baby (Wernsmen/Minar/Volz) First released in 1959 by the Rockin Rs in 1959, on Tempus label. After being introduced by the queen of rockabilly Lady Luck Lexy, Suzie hits the stage with a rockabilly rocker putting the crowd straight into a frenzy. Starting with a great guitar sound then joined by the upright bass and drums. Suzie is in fine vocals with a few shouts of “lets rock” during the breaks. The engineer captures the sound really well. Great start to the Live set.
Bring My Cadillac Back (Knight/Riley) First released in 1956 on Kit Records Inc for Baker Knight & The Knightmares. Exchanging the piano intro with a guitar. The drums rolling beat before the vocals kick in works well. The guitar reminds me of the Tequila track. Some very impressive playing from the band only topped by the lady on vocals. Shame there is not much of the crowd’s reaction.
Bang Bang (Isnard) Original was Taken from The Female Elvis - Complete Recordings 1956-60 by Janis Martin. I love this version with its extended intro with some great finger picking guitar. Todd gives some great drumming backed by the upright bass with its wonderful twang. Goes down well with the audience. Vocals are superb once again from Suzie.
Let’s Have a Party From the movie Loving You and originally first recorded by Elvis in 1957. It was written by. Jessie Mae Robinson. Wanda Jackson released her version in 1960. It's the Wanda version that Suzie performs at the live gig. The band really threw some fantastic sounds out on this, and I guarantee the crowd would have been bopping away. Suzie does seem to have a vocal very close to Janis Martin's vocals.
My Hot Rod (McGovern) Change of lead vocals on this self-penned track written by the lead guitarist Steve. A fast-paced high octane rockabilly track. Some wild drumming from Todd and some wonderful guitar from Steve alongside the singing. Great little jiver.
Ghost of Route 666 (McGovern) Starts with an eerie bit of guitar tuning alongside some howling. Before that rockabilly rhythm arrives like a unstoppable train. Still on vocals Steve sings his way down the highway. Brilliant track with great lyrics. It does contain an explicit phrasing. Great track.
Rock Boppin Baby (Bruce) From the Sun Records library, 1957 release from Ed Bruce. Suzie returns to the vocals for this after a two-song rest. Once again, some effective backing from the band. The dance floor would have been full of strollers. It’s been a great set so far and the crowd seems well happy with huge applause after each track.
Fujiyama Mama (hammer) Written by Jack Hammer, recorded by Annisteen Allen in 1955. Even with her wonderful voice Wanda Jackson couldn’t make a hit with it apart from in Japan where it stayed in the charts for over 5 months at No1. This version is spot on with its oriental sounding on the opening of the track. Suzies vocals really suit the style of the song and sang well. The song tells the story of a drunken female that when she starts on you, she ain't going to stop. Great version. Did you know the song was considered too raunchy for the American audience and failed to be played on the wirelesses.
Red Headed Girl (McGovern) Steve jumps back on the vocals for his self-penned bopper. Awesome start with some hard-hitting drums. And without overdoing it on the guitar it lets the drums sit in the front line and keeps a great rhythm throughout. Tod really demonstrates that he is drumtastic on this track. Closes at a slower tempo. My fav track so far on the album.
Go Getter (McGovern) A nice chance for the band to take a rest after such a rockin set. This instrumental will keep you jigging around whilst you pour a refreshing drink to cool down with.
Cryin No More (McGovern) Suzie takes the mood to a sentimental stroller. Troubles and woes and a breakup after being virtually pushed out of the relationship. Some great riffs from Steve that helps bring out the emotion of the track. Bass drags itself into the back with tears on every note, every album as a breakup song and this one is right up there.
Phoenix Bop (McGovern) After drying my eyes from the previous track, Steve gets us back up on our feet with this cracking number dedicated to their own town. It’s got it all, rockin guitar, hard drumming and even Suzie’s harmonica gets a slot mid-way through. With a rapturous applause, Lady Luck Lexy encourages a final floor filler from the band.
Wild Rock and Roll And the band doesn't disappoint with some individual instrumentals from each member. A Mambo rockin ending to a great album. And they should all take a bow for a great live set at the biggest Rockin event in the heat of the Desert of Las Vegas.
Summary: What more could you ask for? Live set, original tracks, great cover versions and rock n roll. This is a great album and a well done to the sound engineers for creating a superb live album.
Bio Suzie and the AcceleratorZ will take you on a musical journey that travels from the beginning of Rockabilly to the Rockabilly of today. Suzie and the AcceleratorZ not only feature our Original Swingin’ Hot Rod Rockabilly.
We also perform Vintage Rockabilly such as music from: Wanda Jackson, Carl Perkins, Janis Martin, Buddy Holly, Eddy Cochran and the one and only Elvis Presley Suzie and the AcceleratorZ also perform contemporary Rockabilly favourites to include Imelda May, Brian Setzer and the Stray Cats, Kim Lenz, and Go Cat Go. Suzie and the Cruisers perform our amazing Tribute Show “The Queens of Rockabilly”.