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Whiskey Jean & The Chasers – Live At The Austin.

Released: 9th September 2023. Reviewed: 1st October 2023 by: Dave Diamond. (Promoter of The Boomerang Club-London.)

Band Members: Lead Singers- Sharon Thurston, Matthew Collins. Double Bass - Daniel Hart. Guitar – Dennis Smith. Rhythm Guitar – Sharon Thurston. Drums - Chris Henson. Double Bass Daniel Hart. Keys - Mark Widdowson. Backing vox - Daniel Hart Matt Collins Dennis Smith Sharon Thurston. Record and mixed By Matthew Collins. Mixed and mastered at Malley Cat Records. Artwork by John O'Malley. Distributed/published by Whiskey Jean Records

All tracks that are not Covers are written by S. Thurston/Whiskey Jean. Here is a live recording from the live performance of Whiskey Jean and the Chasers at the Austin Sports n Social Rock n Roll club, Birmingham, U.K in July 2023

Band BIO…. The band first formed about 4 years ago, but Sharon has been writing for many years. Last year Feb 2021 she finally released 4 of her original tracks and with great feedback went on to release the new album with a massive 10 original tracks on. She continues to write all the time and hopes this will be just the first of many more albums to come!!

Let’s have a listen to the tracks: Drink That Whiskey Drink That Wine – This track was written during the Lockdown, and is co-written by Sharon and John… so here we go with the live album, that starts off with cheers from the audience and we are in… first off the sound quality is just fantastic and you can hear Sharon’s voice just perfectly and all the instruments behind her strong vocals, love the stop sections and the piano run downs as the track goes into the verse with the backing vocals just right too.. fab instrumental section and great guitar playing mixed in with top drumming that makes this track a fab jive tempo. What a great start…!

Shake Ya Mother – here the band take on the very well know tune by Champion Jack Dupree.. keys start this number and then everyone else joins in the fun, Sharon takes on the lead vocals with backing vocals from the guys, a bouncy rendition of the original tune and this one’s also a sure-firer hit on the jive scene, grab your partner and hit the dance floor daddio’s!

Let’s Jump The Broomstick – is a song written by Charles Robins and performed first by a black Nashville group, Alvin Gaines & The Themes, in 1959 , then covered later that year Brenda Lee that reached number 12 in the U.K. charts… and here Whiskey Jean & The Chasers have slowed down the tempo just slightly and made the whole song over a minute longer than both the aforementioned versions… fab to hear the piano take the lead on the first instrumental break and fab bass run downs too. This version really showcases Sharon’s voice and the whole band really do excel on all three instrumental breaks… and the track ends with a great cheer from the Austin crowd at the end!

I’m Ready – track 4 and Matt takes on the lead vocals and sings it just perfectly… here we have a fabulous cover of the original track written and performed by Fats Domino back IN 1959…. I love the way Sharon’s backing vocals come in and out during the whole song… Another extended version to the original and at just over 3 minutes here we have another fab jiver and I can visualise everyone out on the dance floor!

Sapphire – here the band take on the track written by Jack Hammer and first released by Big Danny Oliver back in 1958. Sharon takes on the lead vocals with Matt doing the shout backs, the band have done a slightly slower groove version to the original and it works very well indeed. It’s great to hear a present band cover this fabulous tune… mixed and mastered just perfectly.

Fire Bug – a cover of the JD McPherson track from the album "Signs & Signifiers released 13 years ago… wow seems like yesterday when this track burst onto the scene. Matt takes on the lead on this fab tune, a tad slower than the original that moves along nicely. It’s always great to hear another bands interpretation of a classic and the band do not disappoint. Loving the instrumental break, great musicianship indeed.

Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy – Sharon on lead vocals and a great ingenious take on the famous Eddie Cochran tune recorded and released as a single in January 1958 on Liberty Records. Up tempo cover that has powerful drumming on this version, mixed in with fab guitar and slapping bass that’s all interspersed with great piano work. At 2 minutes 20, love it!

My Little Miss – this number was inspired by a friend's poem with the same title, but I just liked the title my little miss so I decided to write a song with that line in, co-written with Jason Calver a good friend of Sharon’s and he wrote the chorus line. Another great track from this top C.D, this one’s a real foot tapper, Whiskey Jean & The Chasers sure have hot the jackpot on this original track that has a great bouncing melody, strong lead vocal, and backing vox that’s all brought together by fantastic musicality.

Think It Over – Matt says on the mic one for the strollers, and it sure is! There surely is no end to the range this band has in its repertoire. This classic was written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty back in 1958 and the band have once again done a terrific version and a fantastic arrangement with the alternating vocals between Sharon and Daniel.

Comin’ Or Goin’ – the band have added in an extra minute compared to the Huelyn Duvall version, Matt doing a storming version with his great vocal, this number really does suit his style and the whole band have done an excellent take on this tune that was originally recorded in December of 1957 on the Challenge label. Really great to hear a band cover this fab track, well done all.

Sea Cruise – A great female vocal of the Frankie Ford classic from 1959. Sharon excelling once again on this dance floor filler, I like the stop sections mid-way through. A head shaker for sure and another jive paced classic that will have everyone on the dancefloor.

Whole Lottas Shakin’ – this track needs no introduction… but here goes! The song was first recorded by Big Maybelle, though the best-known version is the 1957 rock and roll/rockabilly version by Jerry Lee Lewis. The band do this fab track justice, with a stomping lead vocal with a fabulous rockin’ back beat and another guaranteed dance floor filler.

Cry To Me – originally recorded by American soul singer Solomon Burke in 1961. Nice slow number to add into this live recording with Sharon taking on the lead vocals, that showcases her fantastic vocal range. at just over 3 minutes, this really is a fab version of this soul classic, a very powerful rendition indeed… love it!

Shotgun Daddy – Sharon wrote this number and tells me… “Shotgun daddy was inspired by the idea of an overprotective father who's found out his daughters seeing someone and isn't too happy about it!” … a great drum roll kicks off this track, and then everyone’s in. This is a great melodic and catchy tune with exceptional vocals once again, you’ll think you’ve heard it before, remind me a bit of The Collins Kids, another top tune that has a fab jiving pace to it.

King Of The Swingers – yep you’ve guessed it… the track from The Jungle Book, loving the drum floor tom pattern to start off this very well know track accompanied by the slapping bass… Matt is the king of the jungle on the bands version… ooh be doo! A big tune on the swing/jive circuit… look out katz, the monkeys in town!

Great Balls Of Fire – recorded back in 1957 by Jerry Lee Lewis on Sun Records and it was also featured in the movie Jamboree from the same year. It sold one million copies in its first 10 days of release in the United States making it one of the best-selling singles in the United States at that time. Here the band have nailed a great version and it’s the same tempo as the original and sounds very authentic, this live take has 2 instrumental breaks and one is extended three times round.

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Inspiration… Sharon’s a massive Elvis Presley fan and also admires Ruth Brown, Wynona Carr, Wanda Jackson, Clyde McPhatter and Etta James, and myself (Matt) I’m a big fan of Ritchie Valens, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Ronnie Dawson. The current bands on the scene that we are big fans of are Tammy Savoy, Jane Rose, Sarah Mae, The Bellefuries, Pokey Lafarge, The Kingcats, Rockin’ The Joint and Bo Walton just to name a few.

CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM: This fabulous group are a 6-piece 1950’s inspired band with both male and female lead vocals which is just fantastic as it gives them a great variety in their delivery styles and vocals. They write their own original tunes as well as covering a wide range of cover songs taken from the 50’s era. This really is a great live release and the sound quality is really spot on… it’s very well mixed and mastered and is a great showcase for any promoter wanting to see how the band sound live!

YOU TUBE : Reviewed by: Dave Diamond

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