|Twangin', Sangin' & Bangin', The JumpKatz
From 1980s, when he was a teenager, to the present, Frank Foxx has insisted on professionalism in any musical project he's been part of - whether it was the Toronto showband the Remnants, soul horn band the Sharp Set, innumerable party and wedding bands, and for over seven years, Toronto's renowned roots rock trio Highway Hepcats, which he formed in 1993. Accomplished as vocalist, guitarist - Frank can "read a room" - with literally hundreds of selections from a vast repertoire built over 25 years of pro-level playing.
Owen Jones has a rap sheet way too long to detail here. But Windsor's best roots/blues/jazz drummer has played with so many - Rebound, the Doctones, Southside Geno, da Spice Guys, Steppin' Out, etc. With an incredible ability to synthesize styles, play with restraint where necessary, rock out with unbridled glee - Ojo may be the most versatile drummer in southwestern Ontario - and he sings, too.
Dave Willick, equally comfortable on keyboards, trumpet and now bass with the Katz. He's seen it all, including stints with Blues Train, Overtime, Six Grand, Rainbow, with his own Willick Sisters who also performed in their own right, around Windsor and beyond, for years. A studied musician, professional in every respect, and he sings, too.
There's also a bit of country music (in the widest sense of the word) to be found, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong", "Basket Case" (fabulous lyrics) and "Get Lost, Good Riddance". A bit of latter day blues on "Tomcat Blues" and some mid 60s style songs that are not really my cup-of-tea, but they are still great songs; "It's A Blur", "Nobody's Fool" and "Dread".
If I had to pick a favorite from this album, it would be the fast and catchy stomper "Traffic Jam", which has a bit of a neo-sound and some classic rock guitar riffs mixed in. Great sound! Much to choose from on this album, there's something here for everyone. I guess The JumpKatz are aiming at a broad public, which is always difficult, coz whatever your style, you'll find songs that you love and songs that you will most likely skip.
The JumpKatz are:
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005