FAME Review: Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones - What's It Gonna Take
Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones - What's It Gonna Take

What's It Gonna Take

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones

VizzTone - DD2583

Available from Doug Deming's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

While he catches half the cuts in Dennis Gruenling's disc, Rockin' All Day (here), Doug Deming has his own band, a group so jump/blues/rockabilly that Gruenling, who returns Doug's earlier favor and sits in here, inevitably and quite happily goes right along with the band in order to best acentuate his own groove. The twang factor is set to 10 here, so is the boppin' shuffle groove, but there are also straight out bluesers, like Think Hard , a Jimmy Reed influenced number. In fact, Gruenling adds a haunting atmosphere on this one, that chromatic harp of his spookily bringing on the night. He gets a nice long middle eight as well, Deming sitting out his own solo spot to favor his compadre.

When Doug does nab the spotlight, though, it's always perfectly in modal character, pealing off lead lines where every note is considered, no substituting of machine-gun arpeggiation or legato flurries to cover for bafflement over where the hell the narrative should go next: the guy knows exactly what he wants to say through those strings and sez it. Duke Robillard'll pour himself another snifter of brandy and grin once he lays an ear to this disc 'cause the two have much in common in this regard. He and Deming aren't riffling bygone pages to get the flavor, they're writing more chapters to the old book. Likewise, Deming can set up a really infectious way of strumming his chords, the effect of which is sometimes an interesting form of drone music that lifts you out of your seat to set them penny loafers be-bopping, Poison Ivy a hypnotic example (I damn near jumped onto the desk while writing this review in order to appease a hipbone that wouldn't stop seat dancing).

Then, of course, there's the nimble-mouthed skoobly-op in Eye for an Eye. Did I say Deming doesn't legato? Well, heh!, catch this cut and see where he trots it on over to the larynx-n-flutter-tongue department and learn differently. A cool balance of jazzy parallel-scat, Stray Cats, and novelty song, if this doesn't climb up the blues charts and then jump over to the hipper rock lists, then the general public is either numb-er than a Republican trying to sell refrigerators in Siberia or already six feet under. Forget the modern world for a while, y'all, step into the Wayback machine, travel backwards a few generations with Doug Deming, and discover why our sires and dames may have been a good deal more hip than we Baby Boomers ever suspected.

Track List:

  • What's It Gonna Take (Doug Deming)
  • Think Hard (Doug Deming)
  • One Good Reason (Doug Deming)
  • Poison Ivy (W. Mabon)
  • An Eye For an Eye (Doug Deming)
  • I Want You to Be My Baby (J. Hendricks)
  • No Big Thrill (B. Deming)
  • Stay Away (Doug Deming)
  • Lucky Charm (Doug Deming)
  • A Pretty Girl (A Cadillac and Some Money) (B. Johnson)
  • Bella's Boogie (D. Gruenling)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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