The Hi-Risers

Lost Weekend

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So, no one seems to cover Hank Ballard tunes anymore, right? (Does anyone even remember who Hank Ballard was?) Well, every other daddy-o's lack of foresight is the Hi-Risers' particular genius, and the gain of every hepcat who has had the pleasure of tuning into the trio's shimmy-shimmy ko-ko boppin', finger-poppin' throwback rock & roll. Lost Weekend is yet another of the band's blowout weekend shindigs thrown especially for those who miss or missed out on, the first time around, the late '50s and go-go early '60s and every permutation of those years' primal, sweaty, essential three-chord music. The Hi-Risers certainly aren't ready to concede this stuff to the museums and halls of fame, and the combo's awesome fluency in the era's styles and subject matter on display here brings it closer to home than ever before. That means the set ranges from the bad-'tude truckin' honky tonk of "I Found My Baby" and "Mile Long Mean Streak" to the bull's-eye Jan & Dean cruisers'n'chicks pastiche "Spinout City" to driving, atmospheric instrumentals like "Tightrope," "Spook Hill," and a positively deranged "Bigfoot" that mix Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, the Ventures, and Santo & Johnny, and then is topped off with the sullen beach weepy "Ghost of the Surfer Girl." You have an infectious song like "In a Place Like This" that might easily have been a hit during the British Invasion bumping up against the bandstand R&B of "You Made Me Look Like Keith" and "Marry Crazy Mary" and the nimble country picking of "Seven Days." Throw in a novelty ("Call Me the Wolfman") complete with midnight howling and you have the perfect imaginary play list for an imaginary AM radio show on a perfect, inebriated imaginary Friday night sometime around 1963. As with all Hi-Risers LPs, this one is an absolute gas.

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