Review: The 24th Street Wailers – Where Evil Grows

Posted on: Monday, Apr 20, 2015

Where Evil Grows Album Cover.jpg

The 24th Street Wailers – Where Evil Grows

(LMB Records)

Here’s a super fun album of vintage r&b, blues and rock ‘n’ roll from the Canadian-based outfit, The 24th Street Wailers – made up of Canadian and American musicians, namely Mike Archer (bass), Lindsay Beaver (vocals and drums), Elliot Sowell (guitar), Jesse Whiteley (piano) and Jon Wong (saxophone) – together they make a joyous,  retro 40s and 50s sound!

To add even more authenticity and grit to the music it was recorded at the legendary Fort Horton Studio in Austin, Texas and produced by Billy Horton, who was responsible for those classic early albums from the late, great Nick Curran, and also a member of his band. The album is the follow-up to “Wicked”, which was also recorded at Fort Horton.

The music starts off in explosive fashion on this 13-track collection, with a blast from Sowell’s guitar on the rocking “Cursed”, with Lindsay Beaver out front with her dynamite drums and big voice; the following just wait takes the pace down – but just a little – with some rollicking piano from Jesse Whiteley and honking saxophone from Jon Wong. The runaway rockabilly of “Spitfire” fairly rattles along . . . all Imelda May fans will love this!

The soulful r&b of “All I Think Of Is You” has a New Orleans feel, with sterling performances all round again from the band; the title cut “Where Evil Grows” is a slow burner, with lovely guitar work again from Elliot Sowell, and nice vocal from Beaver, with telling contribution from her rhythm section partner, Mike Archer. The galloping swing number “You Know” is another showcase for Jon Wong’s saxophone, and more tinkling ivories from Jesse Whitley.

“I Found A Love” is another standout, with Lindsay Beaver again to the fore on this r&b classic first recorded by The Falcons with the legendary Wilson Pickett on vocals; the pace goes up again with a blast of superb saxophone on the swinging “Rock Step”, again with sharp and snappy piano and saxophone solos.

For all lovers of great retro music “Where Evil Grows” is a joy from start to finish. The phrase ‘all killer, no filler’ may be over used sometimes, but it certainly applies here . . . highly recommended indeed!


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