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The Atomic Fireballs: Torch This Place

C. Michael Bailey By

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The Atomic Fireballs: Torch This Place Nouvue Swing. This is a fad. This is not really swing music per se. It is the jump blues as defined by the likes of Louis Jordin. For real swing music, look elsewhere. It might have began with Brian Setzer, metastasizing to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Cherry Poppin’s Daddies, and on and on, ad nauseum. What is on this Atomic Fireballs disc is what I would define as “Acid Swing”. This new swing is characterized by twelve bar blues and vaudeville rag music forms. What makes this “Acid” is the voice of John Bunkley, an instrument that can only be likened to single malt poured over broken glass.

Two & Three Part Inventions All of the music is what one would expect. The music all in fast tempo and the lyrics wryly clever. The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies had “No Mercy for Swine”, and the Fireballs have “Caviar and Chitlin’s” and “Hit By a Brick”. The accompaniment of all of all the tunes is competent if not a bit studio slick. Regardless, the music does move to your feet and make them tap.

Are We Having Fun or What?. The major problem with this disc is the length. Forty minutes is less than half the capacity of modern CDs. These guys could have done better than this. Couple this with the fact that the majority of this music was previously released on the band’s original disc Birth of the Swerve (Hepcat) and it can make the more particular listener squirm. However, this music is so fun and irreverent, just go ahead and get it and swing, swing, swing.


Track Listing: Man With the Hex; Mata Hari; Swing Sweet Pussy Cat; Caviar & Chitlin

Personnel: John Bunkley: Vocals; Duke Kingins: Guitar; Eric Schabo: Tenor Saxophone; James Bastch: Trumpet; Tony Buccilli: Trombone; Randy Sly: Piano; Shawn Scaggs: Acoustic bass; Geoff Kinde: Drums.

Title: Torch This Place | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz


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