Monday, January 19, 2009

The Dukes Of Hamburg - Some Folks

The Dukes of Hamburg are an all-star Garage rock/R&B review from San Francisco who claim to be from Hamburg, Germany. They do high energy, extremely listenable danceable 60's standards, and have truly become cult favorites on the West Coast and in Europe, where they have toured frequently. Lead singer Russell Quan is a bona-fide garage rock legend, he co-founded The Mummies and is a current/former member of the Phantom Surfers, Bobbyteens, Count Backwurds and The Flakes, just to name a few. New guitarist Chris Imlay was a founding member of the Hi-Fives, who did 3 records for Lookout! This is the first Dukes Of Hamburg recording released on compact disc, talk about retro!
The Dukes of Hamburg - Some Folks
Reviewby Stewart Mason,
Not since The Mummies has a garage rock revival group come up with a good costuming gimmick like the Dukes of Hamburg's Round Table shtick. (Really, the Hives and their natty little matching suits and ties? Oh, please.) Unsurprisingly, the Dukes of Hamburg are led by ex-Mummies guitarist Russell Quan, and 2002's Some Folks has all the snotty charm of the Mummies' best work, with the additional fillip of Quan's classic garage rock voice. Like seemingly thousands of American teenagers of the '60s, Quan seems to be deliberately aping the vocal inflections of the young Mick Jagger, making him an aging Asian guy from San Francisco imitating a young suburban American kid imitating a young suburban English kid imitating a middle-aged black man from the south side of Chicago. Clearly, new rules of "authenticity" apply here. What's most interesting about the album's collection of covers is that the 14 tracks venture far afield from the garage rock canon: Instead of "Pushin' Too Hard" and "Louie Louie," Quan and crew essay oddball fare like "Greensleeves," "Old MacDonald," and the Lonnie Donegan skiffle tune "Mercy, Mercy," all of them given a Kingsmen-like frat party punch. Surprisingly enough, the combination works; the old Harold Arlen/Yip Harburg standard "Green Eyed Woman" sounds just right next to the umpteenth version of "Hey Joe." Some Folks is probably strictly for garage rock fans, but it's pretty swell.
Listening to the Dukes of Hamburg you can imagine them as the support act for the Beatles in 1963. The sound has that raw agression of early Rolling Stones.Truly wonderful! not since the Stairs released "Mexican R&B" has anyone managed to recreate the rocking sounds of the early Sixties.
The Dukes of Hamburg includes a veteran of the Mummies, the infamous garage band. The Dukes have that sixties garage sound down pat, and carry on the Mummies tradition of outrageous covers, such as Greensleaves, John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom, and Old MacDonald. This cd is just a heck of a lot of fun. If you are into garage rock, you definitely need this. (
1. Greensleeves 2. Mercy, Mercy 3. Women 4. Little By Little 5. Monkey, Monkey 6. Empty Heart 7. Far Far Away 8. Boom Boom 9. Green Eyed Woman 10. Old MacDonald 11. Off the Hook 12. No No No No 13. Slow Down 14. Hey Joe
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