Vinegar Joe

Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies

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Vinegar Joe's second album was workmanlike, early-'70s mainstream British rock, though with more of a soul and rock & roll influence than the usual such band of the era, due to the one-two punch of lead vocalists Robert Palmer and Elkie Brooks. It's fair but not astounding stuff, Palmer and Brooks both singing together and taking individual leads of their own. The original material tends toward the commonplace good-time rock & roll vibe, though it gets a bit more interesting on Palmer's two original compositions, "Falling" (which clearly points toward the reggae-funk of his early solo career) and "Forgive Us" (which is a decent facsimile of rootsy southern Californian country-folk-rock). As for the three covers, it's doubtful anyone needed a version of Jerry Lee Lewis' classic "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." But they showed better taste on Jimi Hendrix's "Angel" (Brooks' most impressive vocal on the record) and the obscure American folk-rock tune "Rock & Roll Gypsies," originally done by the Gypsy Trips and Hearts & Flowers in the 1960s.

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