Walk On Fire
vary as to why the kings of gangster bopleft Warner Records in
early 1999 to team up with punk label Side One/Dummy. Some say
RCR got dumped for financial reasons, while others claim they
left willingly because of creative differences. Whatever the reason,
the band appears to be thriving after the split, as evidenced
by their latest release, Walk on Fire.
a couple of songs sound likethe RCR of days gone by, most notably
a rousing cover f "Trapped (In the Web of Love)" and "Whatcha
Doin' Tonight (Sam's Calling)." But singer Eddie Nichols has
mellowed a bit on this latest release. He seems to be channeling
the late Bobby Darin, especially on "Besame Mija" and
"Take a Long Drink for Me." Scott Steen's trumpet solos
on the latter track are simply excellent. Also keep your ears open
for Red Young's piano work on songs like "Hey Sonny (Where'd
You Go?)" and "A Bronx Hello."
For those of you expecting hard-hitting swing along the lines
of "Zip Gun Bop " and "hey, Pachucco," you're
in for a few surprises. The opening song, "She Walks on Fire,"
is a latin-tinged track straight out of a Spaghetti Western, whereas
"Watts Local" is a fantastic R&B number with horns
that will blast you frmo yuor seat. (Hats off to Bill Ungerman
on the also and baritone sax, Mando Dorame on tenor, and Tim Youngham
making a guest appearance on trombone.)
album isn't exactly what you would expect from the founders of
the new-swing movement, but it's an important addition to any
connoisseur's collection and packs just as much punch as The
Contender. More important, Walk on Fire is proof that
you don't need a major label to make remarkable music. It might
even be a hindrance.