12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Musical Antidepressant for the dark winter-days,
By A Customer
This review is from: Hop The Wag (Audio CD)
Play truant and immediately start to listen to 'Hop the Wag', the latest cd by piano-wizard Jools Holland and his illustrious Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, it will be well worth your trouble. Starting off with the sizzling full blazed 'Honeydripper' going all the way up and down the musical scale to solo purity with 'Remember Me'.
Jools can be considered an eclectic stylist, although his favor for good old boogie woogie and blues in the deepest shade of blue never fails to emerge. Covers and originals are equally treated with enthusiasm and sheer love for the joy of music . 'Bloodsucker Blues' and 'T Bag Scuffle' are 'live' real crowd pleasers - and it's hard to top these guys 'in concert' - but they've managed to uphold a lot of the vibrating quality in the studio. If one should think that it wasn't possible anymore to use the cliché classics 'The way you look tonight' and 'I'm in the mood for love' just listen to Jools' ska versions, with the sultry vocals of Jay Kay aka Jamiroquai on the latter. 'June Rose Lane' is a charming waltzing tribute to his mother, but leave it to Mr. Holland to surprise with an odd song like 'Loutette', recited by a certain Mr. Norman Wassberg, who just happens to be a customer of Jools' local pub, but it boogies never the less. Or the rather strange yet delicate sounding 'Lost Content', with lyrics from a poem by Victorian poet A.E. Housman.
'Blue Guitar', which first appeared on 'The Full Complement' cd as a sulky, intimate song, has matured into a more gutsy, shorter version in 2000, which just proves that 'recycling' of your own work does pay off sometimes. The title track is a nice shuffling tune with Jools and saxophonist Phil Veacock, whom is also responsible for a lot of the arrangements, which add to the rich, yet airy and vivacious sound of this production. Other members of his high-quality band which should not remain unmentioned are the likes of legendary Rico Rodriguez on trombone, Mark Flanagan on guitar and Gilson Lavis, his loyal drummer since the Squeeze days.