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Big-T & the Bada-Bings


Cigar Store Indians
Guest List

A good live recording gives you an idea of what a band really sounds like in its native element, and then it gives you something extra. Guest List (Overall Records, Inc.) delivers on both counts. Cigar Store Indians are no strangers to the diverse club scene in Atlanta, and the flavor of two popular nightspots is conveyed well by a rip-roaring group of tracks recorded at Smith's Olde Bar and a more acoustic set at Eddie's Attic.

Fans of this band's previous two CDs will encounter no new material on this slick recording, but longtime crowd-pleasers, like "Dirty Belly Button" and a very inspired rendition of "Ring of Fire", have finally found a home on compact disc. (Until now, both songs were presented strictly in the framework of a live show.) Lead singer and guitarist Ben Friedman can be heard interacting with the crowd between sets, imparting the real feeling of a performance that is not canned.

Cigar Store Indians have a unique rockabilly sound that omits the stand-up bass, and instead delivers a real machine of powerful guitarists with great drum work. This is premium rock-and-roll. Lindy hoppers will dig it too, as "Hot Rod Concerto", "Kisses In Vain", "Heaven" and "Tossin & Turnin'" are top of the line jumpin' swing tracks. "El Baile de La Cobra" may very well be one of the best token American rumbas ever written, with a guitar riff played by Jim Lavender that would make Dick Dale cry. In addition, this reviewer would be remiss if he didn¹t point out the excellent rhythms laid down by drummer Paul Barrie and bass guitarist Keith Perissi across the board. This band has been together for a while, and their synergy is palpable.

Finally, pay close attention to Friedman's song writing. "Eagles Need a Push" and "Mother of the Bride" are brilliant, and the quality makes you understand why CSI's second CD is so hard to get your hands on these days. Enjoy this special live show, and join the countdown to some equally inspired new material.

—Frankie Hagan

Visit the band online at

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