Honky Tonkin', Sonny Rogers & The Kingpins
Enviken, EnRec CD-108

Finally here's Sonny Rogers' second album! The band has developed a solid sound & style since their last release in 1999 and is now a well established combo on the rockin' scene, also getting more & more demand from outside it as well. This album has the style that had become the band's trademark: Country Bop!

The trick is to mix all the right elements from the 50s together your own way and thus developing a style that is both refreshingly new and still very authentic. Sonny Rogers & The Kingpins have many ingredients in their new bowl of soup; straight up rockabilly, hillbilly, honky tonk and country & western. The taste is great, as you will soon find out when you put this shiny new mirror in your jukebox (assuming you have a jukebox that can play CDs, and if not, you can use any regular CD player).

Starting with the title song "Honky Tonkin'", one of six self penned songs on this release. It's exactly what the title promises, honky tonk music, but with that distinctive Kingpins rockabilly beat. Glen Parks' "Crazy Dreams" (although I must admit I have never heard of Glen Parks) is a gorgeous song in the afore defined country bop style. Real gone rockabilly is what's next on the original "This Is The Night". Variety with a boppin' beat is what we meet on "Fool About You", partly unplugged; acoustic guitar and great slappin' bass. "Southbound Train" could have come straight from Johnny Cash's "Folk Songs of Trains and Rivers". Need I say more...

Of course there's a Johnny Burnette song on the album, "I Wanna Love My Baby", again in that beautiful semi-acoustic style and "Straight A's In Love" was done perfectly with an authentic Johnny Cash sound. About time for some more hot rockin' with lawless "Fireball Sally" and "Brass Knuckle Boogie". Autry Inman's "Here I Am Drunk Again" is next, a hit for Moe Bandy in 1976 I believe. Freddie Hart's "Snatch It & Grab It" is a classic, sounding great as ever, previously revived by fellow scandinavian Hal Peters and also by Deke Dickerson on his "Number One Hit Record" CD.

"Not Today Not Tommorow" is an another Kingpins original, a sad lovesong with a honky tonk beat followed by Hoyt Johnson's rockabilly classic "Standing In Your Window". And the last track is the great Bill Browning Starday record "Don't Push Don't Shove". The Kingpins, although with a different line-up than on their first CD, with their mixed country bop style, have proven once again that they can perform and record some real gone authentic 50s music.

The Kingpins' new line-up:
Roger Ström, Vocals
Jonas Olpers, Guitar
Ulf Torstensson, Bass
Matti Erikson, Drums

Website: http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/Opry/3690/
E-mail: sonny_rogers@hotmail.com

Free mail-order catalog available from:
Enviken Records
Box 8
790 26 Enviken, Sweden

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001