STATESBRO'BLUES/MORNING DEW/WITH A GIRL LIKE YOU/GOIN'DOWN SLOW/ONE BOURBON, ONE SCOTCH & ONE BEER/I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW/SHE LOVES ME LIKE A WOMAN/WE GOTTA GET OUT O'THE ARMY/ALL I WANNA DO/ROCK ME MAMA/ST.PETE'S FLORIDA BLUES/I JUST CAN'T SAY GOODBYE/OPEN UP (Live at the Vlotho Festival)
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RECORD COLLECTOR REVIEW...
The latest and some say greatest Mungo Jerry album, 'Adults Only' here in its European form. Reviewed in Record Collector, the much respected rock biographer Alan Clayson wrote, "On a blues package touring UK theatres last autumn, Ray Dorset - the heart, mind and soul of Mungo Jerry - stole the show from Long John Baldry, Zoot Money and other white Britons once more famous than many of the black originators who captured their adolescent imaginations. Mungo Jerry's sing-a-long, quasi-skiffle sound has always encompassed blues - and 'Adults Only' is, ostensibly, devoted entirely to the form. A controlled production criteria keeps instrumental meandering so in check that, like incidental music should in a film, enhances rather than diverts attention from the action - which hinges on a voice as distinctive as the mark of Zorro. Overall, it's more the blues as a state of mind rather than singing buzz-words over prescribed chord sequences - particularly in Dorset's own compositions and an intriguing overhaul of Tim Rose's, 'Morning Dew' - that blasts this collection into a stratosphere high above that of the competent-but-boring band trundling out twelve-bars until chucking-out time at a pub near you."
RECORD COLLECTOR COMMENT - Not quite what it says on the label - but scintillating nonetheless ****
MORE 'ADULTS ONLY' REVIEWS FROM THE INTERNET...
Not really a fan of the blues, but this is a cracking album. Anyone expecting jump boards and bottles may be shocked to hear full blown electric blues, with a mix of standards and great Dorset originals that are mainly rocking numbers. Dorset sounds uncannily like Jim Morrison on some tracks.
*****BLUES REVISITED, July 8, 2004.
Mungo Jerry always had their roots in the blues from the early jug band days in 1970. Some three decades down the line, Ray Dorset has revisited that earlier inspiration. This new album is an amazing mix of standards like 'Statesbro' Blues' and 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' that really reflect the band's (as well as his own) enthusiasm for the music, alongside his own compositions like the effervescent 'Just Can't Say Goodbye' and the ultra-catchy, yet seething with anger 'We Gotta Get Out O' The Army' - which MUST be a single before long. A killer retread of Tim Rose's, 'Mornin' Dew' shows how they can get heart and soul into the slower songs, and an extended live version of the 1972 Top 30 hit, 'Open Up' captures the essence of the band onstage. Forget the endless compilations and reissues of 'In The Summertime' - Mungo are a band who don't need to coast on past glories, and this stonking set proves it.
CLAUDE FLOWERS, KING COUNTY JOURNAL, APRIL 2004
From the opening guitar blast of 'Statesbro' Blues' to the moody, 'Suzie Q'-styled 'With a Girl Like You', Mungo Jerry mastermind Ray Dorset serves up a fiery platter of blues rock that -- despite its title -- is not for adults only. Indeed, some of the younger players who get so much praise in the media would do well to study the licks on this album. There's a grittiness, conviction and immediacy to the performances that demand attention. 'In the summertime', in the wintertime, any time, this music demands to be heard. Now if only the band would tour North America...
Claude Flowers, King County Journal music columnist - Seattle, Washington.
INTERNET REVIEW : POSTED 12/12/04
To anyone who merely remembers Mungo Jerry as the band who had a massive hit with 'In The Summertime' in 1970, it might come as a surprise to learn that they are not only still very much active on record and as a live band, but also still musically a force to be reckoned with. The group's front man Ray Dorset has kept the name alive throughout the years and the personnel changes, sometimes fronting a full six-piece band, other times just performing as a soloist or as part of a duo.
But of all the new recordings to surface over the past few years, it's generally agreed that this album, the first to be released under the Mungo Jerry Bluesband appellation, is the best thing he's done since the group's chart heyday over thirty years ago. The four other musicians; Michael Pohl (guitars), Klaus Wenske (bass), Achim 'Ako' Patz (keyboards, harmonica), Klaus Otto (drums) are from Germany - and do the five of them rock! Particularly as the entire album was recorded in Germany over three days in the Spring of 2003, more or less live in the studio with a minimum of overdubs, remixing and all that self-indulgence. Some bands may take six months to get the drum sound alone right, but the Mungo Jerry Bluesband thank goodness.
Ray's gravely voice has always been well suited to the blues - don't forget we're talking about the man who once recorded an album with Peter Green, the strangely overlooked 'A Case For The Blues', released under the name of Katmandu. And the quintet's enthusiasm for the music - a few traditional blues numbers, plus some of Ray Dorset's own compositions - really shines out from every track.
'Statesbro' Blues', an old Willie McTell song from the late 1920's kicks off. You know that old Elmore James-style guitar lick? (Think 'Dust My Broom') Take that and some chunky, no-nonsense rhythm guitar, throw in a snatch of blues harmonica, and you've got it.
Tim Rose's, 'Mornin' Dew' takes the temperature down a notch or two. From a whisper to a scream, almost, with subdued, silvery guitar intro and Ray's lovelorn vocal, soft'n soulful at first, working it's way up to a full throated roar, has to be heard to be believed. 'With a Girl Like You', the first of Ray's own compositions, is a mid-tempo number. Kind of summery in feel, though a million miles away from 'In The Summertime', it's closer to Mark Knopfler territory. Apart from the vocals, this song might not have sounded too out of place on 'Brothers In Arms'. Much the same might be said for another song on this collection, the relaxed, optimistic, 'All I Wanna Do'.
'Goin' Down Slow' and 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' are two different facets of the blues. The first is a fairly slow-paced number with shades of B.B King, the other an old John Lee Hooker song with new lyrics written by Ray.
Vocally and stylistically, 'I Can't Wait Until Tomorrow' reminds me of Joe Cocker. One of the slower more subdued numbers, Ray sings of impending freedom - coming out of jail for a crime he didn't commit, and reunion with his lady. Another slowish tune, 'She Loves Me Like a Woman', has this incredibly beautiful organ intro and gorgeous yearning lead guitar.
There's little doubt that 'We Gotta Get Out Of The Army' is the star track here. Ray's response to the conflict in Iraq, it has that Elvis Costello knack of being catchy and angry at the same time. Stinging guitar, organ and harmonica, an infectious chorus, but with anger at the futility of war - "there's smoke up in the sky, people are gonna die, we can't take it any more, we hate the f*!*!*g war" - it really should have been released as a single.
'Rock Me Mama' chugs along nicely in mid-tempo fashion. More chunky guitar and harmonica, this could have come straight out of a mid-60's John Mayall session. It makes for quite a contrast with the east, laid-back 'St.Petes Florida Blues', usually associated with Ray Charles - mention of which makes one realise that the late Mr.C's voice perhaps isn't that far removed from Ray at his grittiest.
'I Just Can't Say Goodbye' is a re-recording of a number which first appeared on the 1977 Mungo album, 'Lovin' In The Alleys, Fightin' In The Streets'. I can imagine Status Quo playing this - in tempo and rhythm, it's similar to 'Roll Over Lay Down' and 'Whatever You Want'. With another infectious, instant chorus and tune, it's long been a staple of the group's live set.
Finally, talking or performances, a nine-minute version of Mungo's 1972 hit 'Open Up' rounds off the collection. A few variations on the original, of course, but despite it's length it doesn't drag for a moment.
The group's best album for years *****
...AND THE FANS SAID...
"Ray Dorset was superb at Wavendon… and backed by top class musicians. Also enjoying 'Adults Only'"
John Burton, Luton.
"I have received my copy of 'Adults Only' and I especially like 'Statesbro' Blues' & 'Goin' Down Slow' (the first time I heard that was when I saw Alan Price & The Electric Blues Company in Wimborne in 1996) and the live version of 'Open Up' from Vlotho was amazing."
James Raeburn, Dorset.
"I saw Ray in Edinburgh on the Blues Legends Tour last Thursday - superb gig although I would have preferred to listen to Ray all night. I picked up the 'Adults Only' CD which as I expected is really good".
Colin Shaw, Edinburgh.
"Been playing the CD several times lately at home and in the car. It really is the business, everyone's heart is in it! UK release soon, you said? Blitz Radio 2. Maybe a 3-track media only single first? Featuring say 'Statesbro' Blues', 'We Gotta Get Out Of The Army' and one of the slower ones, e.g. 'With a Girl Like You'. The music biz is a funny old beast these days, and I don't know how much effort it's worth putting into singles these days, but 'Army' (with a bleep or re-recorded word in the name of airplay!) might just do it if promoted well enough. Paul Jones really ought to hear the CD too, but at the same time I think it's mainstream enough to fit Radio 2 daytime, plus Bob Harris's weekend overnight prog, if targeted right.
"Good luck, many thanks again for my copy, and it really is a damn good recording. Thumbs up to all the guys"