Come Out Swingin' - The Twisters - Reviews

 

Come Out Swingin'

 

Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Toto It's a Twister, It's a Twister!!
The Twisters are a hot group out of Canada lead by harmonica extraordinaire Dave Hoerl. His playing is so melodic and smooth it just melts in the cracks of the music. While some players use the instrument to jump out in front and get in your face, Hoerl joins the team, adding tasty harp lines that flow as smooth as silk. This is a player who has garnered plenty of attention through the years but could always use some more. These Twisters use a strong west coast influence that starts from Hoerl's past as he grew up in San Francisco learning harmonica from Rick Estrin and David Burgin. While the swingin' coast is an obvious call out on this disc, you also get the '50s rockabilly guitar chops by Brandon Isaak. An all-star appearance by Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne on keyboards is a fine choice as well. The album bounces from mid to uptempo with some great feel. There is plenty of life from each musician to keep your toe tappin' or booty shakin'.
Come Out Swingin' is a fun album of feel good Blues. You really can't be down when you have this album on the player. Song by song, you don't get a lot of change in styles you just get The Twisters. I hear nothing wrong with that. Something's Gotta Give drives me down the road of the Drifters' sound. Johnny Burnette's Rock 'n' Roll Trio haunts Doghouse and Matter of Time. while Take My Own Advice could have been originally done by Desmond Dekker. Then you head into the Texas roadhouses for Guess I Was Wrong. Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell's sound get a nod on I Refuse to Get Old. And on the good 'ol Twister's Theme they prove they could swing along with Jay McShann. Now all of the songs are originals on the disc, and every song has an influence from the above listed regions or personalities, but each song is first and foremost rooted in the palm trees of the California Coast. The Twisters are very well schooled and don't limit themselves to one sound. All of these songs work so well because they stick to that Twister sound which is all their own. Originality is an impossible word because you need to be influenced by someone somewhere and somehow. These guys embrace the past and bring it to the present. Overall this is a fun romp that you could play again and again to pick your spirit up. The live shows must be a blast as the energy level on the album is pretty high itself. With groups like the Twisters around you know Blues has a positive future. Put on your blue suede shoes and get twistin'."

-Kyle M. Palarino
Blueswax
February, 2010

 
   

"I read that The Twisters have been nominated for five of Canada’s 13th Annual Maple Blues Awards. Five nominations!?! Say, maybe we had better go north of the border and take a closer look at this Vancouver, British Colombia and Whitehorse, Yukon band to see what it is all about.

"Featuring all original songs, the album is titled
Come Out Swinging,’ and that they do with an upbeat Swing number, I’ll Make It Up to You. The opening notes reminded me immediately of one of my currently favorite, Jump Blues groups, The Insomniacs. One noticeable difference is David Hoerl’s rich harmonica work integral to their sound. Often using a chromatic harp, he helps make clear why some people call the instrument a 'mouth organ.' Brandon Isaak is a clearly gifted vocalist and guitarist propelled by Keith Picot slapping his upright bass fiddle. 'I missed your birthday and anniversary, too...,' Isaak wrote and sings. Yep, he’s got a lot of making up to do!

"The Twisters are nominated for Electric Act of the Year, Recording of the Year for
Come Out Swingin,’ Harmonica Player of the Year for David Hoerl, Keith Picot for Bass Player of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year for Brandon Isaak. Drum duties seem to rotate between Matt Pease and Lonnie Powell.

"While a definitive and complete history of the band seemed unavailable, research did indicate that The Twisters have been together since 1997. Dave Hoerl is the only original and founding member remaining. They have four previous CDs with the first one coming out around 2003.

"For radio play on WKCC this week, I’ll start with
Kiko mainly because I had a request last week for 'more harp music.' Another Swing number, track eight opens with finger snapping, foot tapping harmonica notes. Isaak sings with his typical-throughout-the-CD exuberance about 'my sweet little Baby,' spelled K-i-k-o. Lonnie Powell slaps brushes on the drums to drive the rhythm hand in hand with Picot’s bass.

"My broadcast partner, Shuffle Shoes, and I usually like to kick off the top of the hour with something smoking; therefore, the up tempo
Dirty Boy Blues will work nicely. Featuring plenty of stinging guitar punctuating the ends of vocal lines and then simply burning on solos, track ten’s guitar isn’t Dirty, it is downright nasty!

"Other radio-ready tracks are the Chicago Blues styled,
Guess That I Was Wrong and the hopping Matter of Time with Jerry Cook guesting on hot saxophone and some of Isaak’s best West Coast guitar.

"Are these cats having fun playing or what? In the liner notes, they claim they
'should really be known as a Roots band....' For variety, they do some convincing Reggae on Take My Own Advice. Fast paced, hand clapping Gospel flavoring is found in Party Goin’ On with Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne adding his formidable keyboard skills. Going back to the roots of Blues, Hoerl on harp and Isaak on acoustic guitar nail a Delta duet.

"Rockabilly (or is that Bluesabilly?) is found in
Something’s Gotta Give with Hoerl singing vocals while Cook adds a catchy sax hook and Isaak on shimmering tremolo guitar. Long Overdue and Doghouse also rock those Canadian hillbillies with the latter using some tasty top strings twang from Isaak’s guitar and Picot doing his finest doghouse bass string slapping.

"The last blast of recorded fun is the set closer, the jumping
Twister’s Theme. In harmony they sing, 'We are The Twisters, Playing in your town, Swinging like monkeys [with monkey sounds], Hope you like our sound....having a blast and we’re clowning around,... having ourselves a ball, we’re jumping - swinging up a storm in every little ole hall....'

"Finally, check out the clever theme from the title used on the album covers, with photos to match. 'A Man Called Wrycraft' has the boys poised as old time bare fisted boxers, and Hoerl is the white shirt and black bow-tied referee. That’s first class packaging!

"Trust me, The Twisters did not get those five nominations as a fluke. These cats are serious contenders. If you want a break from Blues-Rock and straight ahead lump-de-lump Blues, give this masterful CD a listen. It has earned a spot in my library."

-James "Skyy Dobro" Walker
Blues Blast Magazine
November, 2009 

 
   

"It's a pleasure to put on something from a band that one had not previously been familiar with, and quickly take notice. The new album by The Twisters, Come Out Swingin’ (Northern Blues), produced that reaction. Based out of Vancouver, British Columbia and White Horse, Yukon, this quartet has developed a reputation as a first rate jump and swing blues band. On Come Out Swingin’ they add elements of rockabilly, reggae and gospel to this jump blues foundation.

"The Twisters consists of harmonica player Dave Hoerl, guitarist Brandon Isaak, bassist Keith Picot and drummer Lonnie Powell, with Matt Pease on drums for 3 of the 12 tracks, and Dave Haddock on fender bass for one with Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne added on keyboards and Jerry Cook on saxophones and horn arrangements. The members of the band wrote all of the songs here and Hoerl and Isaak share the vocals between them.

"Things sure start off strong with the opening
I’ll Make It Up To You, with a melodic line evoking the twenties classic Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone, with some jazz-laced fretwork from Isaak (evocative of Bill Jennings, Tiny Grimes and Al Casey) and superlative chromatic playing by Hoerl with some unusual voicings behind Isaak’s vocal and guitar solo, and that doesn’t take into account Wayne’s piano.

"Hoerl takes the vocal on
Something’s Got to Give, with a 60s R&B groove, some nice saxophones from Cook and the rhythm section just hits the groove with a nice topical lyric followed by Long Overdue, with an insistent beat as Isaak sings about waiting on his baby and pacing the floor because she is long overdue with Cook’s driving sax solo followed by Hoerl, again on chromatic displaying his strong tone and drive.

"Bassist Picot’s slap bass along with Isaak’s Tennessee Two styled guitar spark the rockabilly flavored
Doghouse with Hoerl delivering the lyric and it’s followed by a modern blues shuffle, Guess That I Was Wrong, with Hoerl adding some remarkable harmonica accompaniment and solo here. I could continue with a comment on each track, but this superb recording deserves praise as does the band. Not simply having command of their instruments, Isaak and Hoerl add imaginative and distinctive touches throughout and the band is tight as two embracing lovers. The Twisters are simply a terrific band that deserves to be heard."

-Ron Weinstock
Jazz & Blues Revue
August, 2009 

 
   

"The Twisters are back with their second one on NorthernBlues (their fifth overall) and with so much critical acclaim for After The Storm, why tamper with a good thing. They went back to Whitehorse to record. The BlueStar Studio there obviously did wonders and does so here again. Also back is Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne on keyboards. They have however added some new grooves and they do indeed come out swinging: the opening song, I’ll Make It Up To You sounds like it came right out of the swing era. They then move smartly into rhumba territory with Something’s Gotta Give. Long Overdue is more along the lines of what we’ve come to expect. But Doghouse is unhyphenated rockabilly. Guess That I Was Wrong is a straight blues. As you might expect, these seemingly disparate styles are all performed effortlessly by this stellar band. David Hoerl’s vocal on Something’s Gotta Give is initially quite jarring, singing his Great Recession lyrics over such a jaunty rhythm. It’s very effective. Guitarist Brandon Isaac sings on slightly more than half the songs. Keith Picot is on bass and Lonnie Powell is on drums. There is more rockabilly and even some reggae on Take My Own Advice. Another highlight for me is the country blues duet of I Refuse To Get Old with Hoerl on vocals & harp and Isaac on guitar. Isaac tackles Albert King on Dirty Boy Blues. The Twisters Theme concludes the CD with a delightful group vocal that tells us all we need to know about this band. It’s been a while since they’ve been here. I hope it’s not too much longer. This album has already been nominated for a West Coast Music Award for Best Blues Album of the Year. Get more news and tour info from www.twisters.ca."

-John Valenteyn
Maple Blues, Toronto Blues Society
September, 2009 

 
   

"What an apt title for this set by the Twisters - Canada’s premier West Coast style blues band.

"Led by two hugely talented frontmen in Dave Hoerl (harmonica/vocals) and Chris Isaak (guitar/vocals) with swinging support from Keith Picot (bass), Lonnie Powell (drums), Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne (keyboards) and Jerry cook (saxophone) - the Twisters deliver a jumping, swinging
Mess of Blues that can’t fail to make you smile - appreciatively.

"
I’ll Make It Up To You sets the scene and will have the Shag dancers on their feet as the band swing irresistibly fired by pure toned harp, hot fat-toned guitar and piano plus great stickwork - hip 50’s blues/R&B at it’s finest. Isaak’s vocals take on an Elvis Presley feel on Long Overdue which is fired by horn-like harp and some meaty yackety sax - he brings to mind Arthur Alexander on Guess That I Was Wrong, where his guitar conjures up a vision of a blue Dick Dale underpinned by mellifluous harp - whilst Party Goin’ On generates a 'foot-stomping' 'hand-clapping' gospel intensity with it’s preaching vocals, superb harp and 'rattling' piano. Dirty Boy Blues is flavoured with Jimmy Dawkins influenced guitar whilst Hoerl’s harp comes over like a West Coast Carrie Bell - whilst on the jazz inflected Kiko, Hoerl and Isaak combine like a modern version of Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson with the harp replacing the violin.

"Hoerl’s vocals have a distinctly soulful timbre, bringing to mind Sam Cooke on the Cupid-like
Something’s Gotta Give with it’s Tex-Mex styled horns and accordion-like harp - and Take My Own Advice replete with more fine horns and soul infused keyboards. Link Wray meets Johnny Cash on Doghouse. I Refuse To Get Old is pure James Harman fired by Isaak’s Kid Ramos styled guitar - whilst The Twister’s Theme, which closes the set, is permeated with an irresistible Louis Jordan feel.

"Great music - great band - what more can I say!"

-Mick Rainsford
Blues In Britain Magazine
September, 2009 

 
   

"I give this CD, my highest rating, Five ***** Excellent CD... Thoroughly enjoyed it... Highly Recommended...

"From a 1950's Rockabilly Feel to their signature Swing Style Blues, The Twisters new release,
Come Out Swingin' has far surpassed any of my expectations. From tragedy to triumph, The Twisters were not content to just hit a home run with Come Out Swingin', no they decided that nothing less than a Grand Slam would be acceptable, and boy oh boy did they ever hit one of those.

"
Come Out Swingin' is, and excuse the pun, one hell of a knock out album, one which I believe will rocket The Twisters to a whole new league of the own, leaving all whom may of have been their closest rivals, in the dust.

"
Come Out Swingin' is the most diversified and the most intriguing release to date by Canada's King Of Swing, a complete and thorough crowd and fan pleaser, one which will certainly receive all the accolades and awards it deserves.

"Now if you will please excuse me, I'm going to throw
Come Out Swingin' back in the CD Player for yet another listen... "

-John Vermilyea
Blues Underground Network
August, 2009 

 
   

"This is what modern Blues is all about. Tight arrangements, great vocal harmonies, and spot on yet understated instrumental performances. All with a firm foothold into the roots and tradition of the Blues. With one exception, a Sonny Boy Williamson tune, the CD is packed with all original tunes that bring freshness and spontaneity to the sometimes over worked playbook of the Blues. A fantastic musical statement."

-BarrelhouseBlues.com
December, 2007