Rev It Up, The Mezcal Brothers
Presto Records, 2002

The Mezcal Brothers from Lincoln, Nebraska, have been playing their own brand of roots rock, rockabilly and alternative country to happy crowds for along time. Nominated for album of the year by local radio station KZUM and mentioned as one of the top rockabilly bands by Goldmine Magazine, the Mezcals can be seen around the Midwest in support of their self-produced albums, "Hold on Tight" and the new "Rev It Up". Both albums feature lotsa original songs and has already caught the attention of national blues and roots rock acts such as The Belairs, The Paladins, The Blazers, Big Sandy and most recently the Domino Kings, whose lead singer was quoted as saying; "We listened to Mezcals for six consecutive hours." The quartet has remained extremely busy and brings their highly energetic vintage rock show to anyone who feels the need to dance and have a good old fashioned boppin' time.

This Mezcal Brothers' CD "Rev It Up" hits off with a selfpenned original rockabilly stomper that gets you in the mood to... rev it up. A hard thumping slapping bass with clicking echoes is the start of "Drive Like A Maniac", fast, loud and infectious. Lyrics like "I didn't mean to hurt you, I didn't mean to die" will send shivers down your spine. What seems like a dreary ballad at the start, turns over quickly into a rockabilly swinger titled "Run, Run, Run", horns et all. Then there's "Rollin'" with it's fine snearing guitar licks, followed by the all time classic "Rockabilly Boogie", which will surely rock your socks off. Not for the fainthearted though, and I'm aware of the fact that tastes differ. This is fast and loud and with a lot of rhythm, although a friend of mine said that Johnny Burnette would turn in his grave if he heard this. Go figure...

You'll need to catch your breath after that one, so here's the inevitable ballad "Keep On Knockin'", quite something else from what I heard so far, with an old time country feel to it, complete with steel guitar. Betty James' bluesy "I'm A Little Mixed Up" is picking up speed again, movin' on to another swinger "Rock Boppin' baby" (great slap). The beautiful country rock song "Long Black Highway" in wide stereo is next on the menu, and some more hard knocks with "Lovin' Gal". The Mezcals sure know how to keep the rhythm going with "Blackeyed Jack", you just can't sit still. Last but not least, "True Love" goes country one more time, while keeping a pounding rockabilly stomp all the way. Gerardo's scorching voice is really something else, raw and full of energy, but without any flaws. This is a pretty mean album. Compared to others in the genre, it's just great, but don't expect a clean fifties sound. This is rockabilly with a bite!

The Mezcal Brothers are:
Gerardo Meza - Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Charlie Johnson - Upright Bass
Donald Burbach - Drums
Mark Simpkins - Lead Guitar

Special Guests:
Scott Keeton - Guitar
Steve Blazek - Pedal Steel
Brian Morrow - Saxophone
Jeff Dodge - Trumpet
Todd French - Trombone

Booking & information:
The Mezcal Brothers
1544 So. 20th St. #2
Lincoln, NE 68502
Phone: +1 (402) 476-3729

Flying Goat Productions
1380 CR 220 Eureka Springs
AR 72631 U.S.A.
Phone: +1 (501) 253 2835

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002