Review: The Boneshakers – Shaken And Stirred

Posted on: Tuesday, May 29, 2012


The Boneshakers – Shaken And Stirred


The North East of England has long had a passion for proper rhythm and blues, harking back to The Animals in the glory days of the 60s . . . and the current live scene seems to be as healthy as ever with a host of great bands gigging, including the very popular outfit, The Boneshakers. On “Shaken And Stirred” they lay down ten tracks of rocking blues, made up of  all covers, with some tried and trusted chestnuts and a few less than obvious choices.

The four-piece comprise of Ronnie Semple (harmonica and backing vocals), Russ Hird (lead vocals and guitar), Gordon Smiles (drums) and Dave Hildreth (bass). They are augmented on some cuts by guest players, namely Ronnie Semple’s great friend and harmonica maestro Lyndon Anderson; fast-rising young guitarist Mitch Laddie, and also Micky Crystal and producer Phil Martin, who also lay down some additional guitar work.

The band rock hard on the opening “Rock Me Baby”, featuring Laddie and Crystal, with Sonny Boy Williamson’s immortal “Help Me” taken to another level by Lyndon Anderson’s marvellous playing. Ronnie Semple is no slouch himself on harmonica and gets to shine regularly, with a really nice version of Junior Wells “Messin’ With The Kid” being a standout.

Elsewhere album producer Phil Martin features, adding some slide guitar to Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues”; but perhaps the best is saved for last an energetic romp through Slim Harpo’s “Hipshake”, with the band, plus Laddie, Crystal and Anderson . . . . great stuff.

The band gig extensively around the North East and am sure make for a great night out if you are ever up there . . .


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