Review: The Cadillac Kings – Trouble in Store

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 31, 2008

The Cadillac Kings
Trouble in Store
33 Records  33WM141

This is the hot-off-the-press latest release by one of the top bands in the UK; the official release date is 1st September (tomorrow).  If you have enjoyed the Cadillac Kings’ live shows or their previous CD releases then you will not be disappointed, in fact you will be excited as this is their best release to date.  The Cadillac Kings are firmly rooted in the jump and jive of the 1940s and 1950s however they are much more than copyists as the band has a distinctly modern twist.

All the soloists are stand out players but they all understand that the song is the king and that a song is not just a vehicle for individual soloists.  This leads to a very well rounded unit with each band member playing his role in the overall sound and each person knowing when not to play.  The rhythm section is led by ace drummer Roy Webber who is in the top echelon of UK blues drummers and TC Copp on the double bass.  Without reading the liner notes, you would never guess that these guys are not Americans.

Mike Thomas is the main songwriter for the band and, once again, has excelled himself in delivering a set of wry and witty lyrics commenting on the foibles and peculiarities of the modern world.  For my money Thomas is the best songwriter working in this genre in the UK.  As a rule I don’t normally make comparisons to other artists, however in this instance I have to make reference to Louis Jordan and Rick Estrin, of whom I am always reminded when I listed to Thomas’ songs.

The CD opens with the harp-led fast shuffle of “Too Blue” in which Mike Thomas tells his lady friend that no matter what else he feels, he will always love her.

“Sugar Rush” has a Lazy Lester/T-Birds groove and is a tough shuffle in which Mike’s red-hot girlfriend is likened to Belgian chocolate and French patisserie.

“Hot Rod V8 Ford” is a song from harp player Gary Potts and is a 40s style jump blues led by Mike Adcock’s classy piano, telling the story about Potts’ real-life passion for American Hot Rod cars.  This song also features a sweet guitar solo from Mal Barclay.

“Around the Block” describes the advantages of the older man with great solos from Potts and Barclay.

There are three instrumental outings lead by the three excellent soloists.  “Blue Cap Bounce” by guitarist Barclay is a guitar-led swing, “Tongue Tied” is a harp-led fast shuffle with great playing from Potts, Adcock and Barclay and “North Sea Jump” is a classic boogie woogie led by Adcock on the piano.

I could go on describing the great performances in delivering the rest of the great songs on this CD but I will resist the temptation to describe the duelling guitars of “Chief of Police”, the New Orleans piano of “Stop Digging That Hole”, the 40’s style walking shuffle of “Fries With That”, the accordion led zydeco shuffle of “Less is More” and the other top tunes.  Each song is as strong as the last and it is impossible to pick a favourite.

I am certain that this CD will be available from good on-line sources such as Red Lick and RootsCD, however my strong advice is to go to one of the live shows and buy one directly from the band.

Highly recommended but please remember “Bigger snacks mean wider slacks”.



August 31st, 2008 at 09:19
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I notice that the MySpace site for the Cadillacs (given in the post) is starting to be populated with a selection of the new songs.


CK What

August 31st, 2008 at 14:13
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Hi Grahame,

Many thanks for the review, the Ferrari’s in the post.

The new cd’s distributed by Pinnacle so it’s available just about everywhere online (Amazon, Play, Zavvi, Tescos!! etc) & in those increasingly rare places called record shops eg the bigger HMVs plus Red Lick should have some very soon.



August 31st, 2008 at 14:34
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Actually this one is one of mine. Grahame is on holiday so you have to put up with a second string reviewer.

Great news on the distribution.


CK What

August 31st, 2008 at 17:45
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Oops sorry Ken! In that case, Gary says a six pack of Ruddles is in the post. Cheers



September 4th, 2008 at 18:31
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Nice work Ken – am I redundant now? Seriously though, can only endorse your words – a very fine release from a great band! Mike, I will get it reviewed for the Chester Chronicle soon. I’m more of a Vauxhall man, not Ferrari!