Chris Daniels & The Kings

Louie Louie

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When jump blues experienced a rebirth in popularity in the '90s and bands like the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy hit big, quite a few young acts jumped on the bandwagon and started embracing the music and fashions of the '40s. Chris Daniels & the Kings, however, weren't jumping on any bandwagon -- formed in the mid-'80s, the Colorado outfit was playing jump blues and jive before those styles came back in fashion. The title Louie Louie will make many rockers think of the Kingsmen's '60s smash, but that isn't one of the songs you'll find on this CD. Rather, Louie Louie takes its name from the artists that lead singer/guitarist/producer Daniels calls "the three Louies": Louis Jordan, Louis Prima and Louis Armstrong. Though one can hear the influence of all of those Louies on this fun, entertaining album, Jordan's influence is especially song. In fact, many of the songs that Daniels embraces come from Jordan's repertoire, including "Is You or Is You Ain't My Baby," "Choo-Choo-Ch Boogie" (one of Jordan's biggest hits), "If You're So Smart, How Come You Ain't Rich" and "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens." With the dark-humored "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You," Daniels chooses a song that was recorded by all three Louies. As the album's producer, Daniels is careful not to overproduce -- he was obviously going for an organic approach. Although not brilliant, Louie Louie is competent, enjoyable and sincere.

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