Loud Live N' Loaded, Atomic Boogie
Resaca Records, 2004

Taking their name from a 1950s radio show called the "Atomic Boogie Hour", the band is a three piece rockabilly and jump blues group from the Metro Atlanta area. With a professional attitude and high energy show, Atomic Boogie has become a favorite at many local venues and has gained a loyal following of fans. A typical show is non stop fun, with toes tapping and bodies gyrating to the beat of a gumbo mix of roots music. Each set played is a mix of obscure covers from the 40's and 50's, Atomic Boogie originals, and Sun Records era rockabilly, texas swing, west coast jump, Chicago shuffles, and Mississippi road house blues. Remember the band credo; "God loves you if you dance", and get ready for the "shack to shake" and the "house to rock"! It's Atomic Boogie comin' at ya!!

Recorded on a cold rainy winternight at the Sound Barn in Marietta G.A. Atomic Boogie blast their jumpin' blues with a rockabilly swing. As the band states in the linernotes; "it was lightning in a bottle while the tape was rolling!" If you close your eyes you can almost see the band sweating.

The gig hits off with some blues-with-a-jump, a rendition of Jimmy Rushing's "Lotsa Papa", and it sure is a mood-setter. It's quite clear from the beginning that this band is having a whole lotta fun performing on stage, and John Barton's guitar shrieks thru my home-office speakers with a deafening sound. With this kind of music I always seem to have trouble NOT upsetting the neighbours, LOL. The second track is the first of four selfpenned tracks, written by Barton, titled "Tennessee Shotgun". Scorchin' rhythm & blues, it's hard to imagine there's only 3 musicians on the stage, what a sound! Another one of Barton's songs is "Ready For All Your Love". The bluesy sound is still persistant, but a bunch of rock 'n' roll is added to this stomper.

I believe it was in the movie Crossroads (1986) that Joe Seneca said: "B.B. King invented electricity", I just remembered this when I played Pat Hare's "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby". I'm sorry to tell you rockabilly fans that this is still blues, but it did raise all the hairs in my neck. Almost 6 minutes of electrifying roots blues, fantastic!

A faster beat is added to "My Baby Don't Love Me No More", which I think was a Jimmy Rogers original, but I must admit I'm not quite sure here. "Somebody Get My Gun" is another blues stomper written by Barton, followed by one of my favourite original Sun Records recordings, Jimmy Wages' "Miss Pearl". Mixed in with a healthy dose of blues, it has a total new and utterly fantastic sound. Another Sun original is Billy 'The Kid' Emerson's "When It Rains It Really Pours", also recorded by Elvis Presley. Sticking to the Memphis Sun sound, Atomic Boogie got the whole house rocking with their superb cover of Billy Lee Riley's "Pearly Lee". Hard thumping rockabilly with a touch of rhythm & blues and John Barton going ape on the guitar.

Next is Jimmy Rogers' "One Kiss", credited to James Lane, although I thought this was written by Willie Dixon. Since I know quite a lot about rockabilly, and a whole lot less about the blues, I'll give Atomic Boogie the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they were two different songs, but it's the sound that counts, and there's nothing wrong with that!

The fourth Barton song on the disc is "Dirty Little Games", great song and this guy Barton really knows how to play his six strings. The closer of the show is Junior Parker's "Sitting At The Bar", another classic from the Sun vaults, with Chad Vaillancourt pluckin' his doghouse bass loud and fast, by far my favourite track on this platter. Hey, I'm a rocker!

Atomic Boogie is mostly blues, mixed in with a good dose of bluesy rockabilly and rock 'n' roll, and I just love every minute of it. The only reason this album did not get our 5-star rating is because we are mainly a rockabilly website and this album is mainly blues influenced, but I'm pretty damn sure that any lover of the old Sun sound will welcome this music. I can't says it enough: Fantastic! And remember, this was recorded LIVE (with the exception of "Dirty Little Games"), no overdubs, what you hear is what you get if you book this band!

Lotsa Papa / Tennessee Shotgun / Ready For All Your Love / I'm Gonna Murder My Baby / My Baby Don't Love Me No More / Somebody Get My Gun / Miss Pearl / When It Rains It Really Pours / Pearly Lee / One Kiss / Dirty Little Games / Sitting At The Bar

Atomic Boogie are (left-2-right):
Chad Vaillancourt - Doghouse Bass
Pete Bennie - Drums
John Barton - Guitars

Information & bookings:
Lori Presnel
Underground Groove
141 Justin Drive
Dallas G.A. 30735
United States
Phone: +1 770-505-9268


Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005