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Atomic Roots Orchestra "Border Radio Gamble"
The Atomic Roots Orchestra is the brainchild of Job Striles and John Lee Williamson and their newest collaboration together is called "Border Radio Gamble" and I am telling you now, it is one of the best and most creatively unique "Blues and Rhythm, Rock and Roll/Rhythm and Blues", I have heard in a long while.
Both Job Striles and John Lee Williamson are modern day legends in their own right with Job Striles guitar work and style of delivery being compared to Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown. When it comes to playing guitar, Job Striles doesn't just caress the airways, he bites threw them like a hungry wolf, leaving no doubt who the boss is. It is this reason why he is considered as a "West Coast Roots Guitar Legend". "Jobs song Coffee is the center piece of Baileys with coffee international campaign and they have recorded scores of highly collectible internationally recognized Albums ." John Lee Williamson is heralded as "the last great rhythm guitar players and vocalists of West Coast Blues & Rhythm." He is a gold mine of music history and has worked tirelessly to help keep the "post war L.A. Sound alive, forever." John Lee Williamson's previous bands, which he formed and lead, were The Magic Blues Band, The Southside Jukes, and The Superstitions. "John Lee played at the House of Blues Stage for the opening of the 1994 Olympic Games in Atlanta Ga." Together on, "Border Radio Gamble", John and Job not only carry around the necessary dynamite to get the job done, they also take turns lighting the fuse.
Bringing back the great sound of the late 40's to late 50's Border Radio Music that was played by the great American DJ's' of that era, "Border Radio Gamble" consists of 14 great memorizing Tracks, of which 6 are originals with 8 great covers including "Love in Vein" (Sony Boy Williamson II) and Jimmy Reed's "Can't Stand to See You Go". Released in 1956, "Can't Stand to See You Go" reached number 10 on the U.S. R&B Chart. Of the other 6 covers, they are from artists, whoms names I do not recognize, yet I have heard a few of the songs, such as, the opening Track "Home On Alcatraz" a song by a group called Rolling Crew and "Hey Senorita" which is a song by the group which also done the hugely popular "Earth Angel", namely The Penguins. Other great artists covered on "Border Radio Gamble" were Jimmy McCracklin, Louis and Frosty, Goree Carter, and The Robins. All these bands and performers were very influential for their era, an example being The Robins whom "were a successful and influential American R&B group of the late 1940s and 1950s, one of the earliest such vocal bands who established the basic pattern for the doo-wop sound ."
With the originals done on "Border Radio Gamble", Job Striles and John Lee Williamson managed to meld perfectly with the covers and really showed me that they certainly knew the music from that era and absolutely knew how to play it. In addition to Job Striles on Lead Guitar/Vocals and John Lee Williamson on Rhythm Guitar/Vocals, the other members playing on this exceptional album were, Bill Flores (Tenor Sax), Max Bangwell (Drums/Vocals), Rick Reed (Bass/Naps), and The Welfare Line Chain Gang Choir.
Although consisting of a type of music I rarely listen to, "Border Radio Gamble", came across to me as not only an exciting album but also an album with a welcome sense of freshness and creativity and one that I hugely enjoy listening to.
"Border Radio Gamble" is really great music and I am very grateful for Job Striles and John Lee Williamson keeping this style of music alive and bringing it back to the masses.
Highly Recommended and Thoroughly Enjoyed
Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)
Listen To Samples Here...