Hot Rod Mama, The Jumpin' Wheels
Cab Records CAB 56001

The Jumpin' Wheels is a 50s styled rockabilly band from Estonia, in the eastern part of Europe. Comprising Garry on the double bass and vocals, Art on guitar and vocals and Pete nailing the rhythm down on the drums, these guys were probably the first band to emerge on the western European scene from their country. Already having toured Holland and Germany, playing top clubs like 'The Cruise Inn', their traditional rockabilly show with timeless favourites, on over to the rock 'n' roll side of sounds, keeps them busy with plenty of gigs.

Fine musicians, they were also the backing band for US legend Johnny Powers (of "Long Blond Hair" fame) on his Scandinavian tour - the first ever "Eastern European" band to have been selected for such work, which they did in excellent fashion says organizer Marc Fenech of Southern & Rocking Music. Postitioned ideally, these guys are in the neighbourhood to tour the eastside in Russia, the westside in Scandinavia, Holland and Germany, and now down South to warmer climates.

The band's debut album on the Spanish Cab Records label has 12 tracks on it. Only the title song "Hot Rod Mama" is a Jumpin' Wheels original, a superb fifties style rockabilly bopper that makes you wonder why the band didn't write more songs themselves, they're obviously quite good at it.

The remaining 11 tracks are all covers of pretty well known classics from the US and the UK. There are excellent renditions of Don Woody's "Make Like Rock 'n' Roll", Cliff Richard's "Move It", two Sammy Masters songs "Flat Feet" and "Some Like It Hot", Dennis Herrold's "Make With The Lovin', two Gene Vincent classics "Five Feet Of Lovin'" and Woman Love", Hall Harris' "Jitterbop Baby", Carl Perkins' "Dixie Fried", Joe Clay's "Slippin' Out & Sneakin' In" (spelled "Sleeping Out And Seaking In" on the back cover), and last but not least, Lew Williams' "Something I Said".

So, there are no real suprises on this album, but the music is great. The Jumpin' Wheels are all excellent musicians, and the Eastern European accent of singer Garik is not too bad at all. Excellent guitar pickin' and a cool 50s sound make this album very much worth listening to. A few more originals would have been a good idea though...

The Jumpin' Wheels are:
Garik - Vocals, Upright Bass
Peter - Drums
Arthur - Guitar

Guest musicians:
Sergei Vladychenko - Acoustic Guitar
Mehis Koiv - Piano

Information and bookings:
Phone: +372 56 645 625 (Garik)

CAB Records
P.O. 3047
47080 Valladolid

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2004