Ritojo Rhythm, The 2-Tones
Empire Music EMP CD-101

Empire Music is a new International record label based throughout Europe, that launched with two CD releases on the same day (March 5th, 2005). Empire's emphasis is on bands playing Rockin' & (Southern) Roots music of today. The constituents of Empire Records are involved in other organisations (e.g. Southern & Rocking Music), and Empire Records is a separate company alongside those. The individuals will continue their other activities in other branches/aspects of RnR and Roots music as before.

This is the 2nd album from The 2-Tones, who have played all over the European circuit with constant appearances on tours and festivals consistently in the past 5 years. Tours & bigger shows in the UK (e.g. Shake Rattle & Roll, Great Yarmouth), Hot Rock Weekend (Segovia, Spain), Raggar-Billy Jamboree (Sweden), Withsun-Pfingsten RnR Weekend (Waldorf, Germany), Rockabilly-Americana 2004 (Holland)... too many to mention. Their brand of jiving rock'n'roll and scat-rockabilly and boppers has fused to become their own "Ritojo" sound. "Ritojo Rhythm" features 15 cuts, 8 of which are brand new originals, packed in a A Top-Quality package with 16-page full-colour sleeve booklet.

The opening tune is a golden oldie from The Four Tunes "Three Little Chickens" (Jubilee 5212, 1955), a great party song brought to you with ultimate enthusiasm. The 2-Tones are in the mood again! The first original is "Let The Music Play", a fast paced jiver, ritojo style, to get all the cats & chicks out on the dancefloor. Next are two more originals "Dancing Shoes" and "Call The Firebrigade", followed by a very nice cover of Darren Spears' (Go Cat Go) "Who Was That Cat?". This rendition cannot top the original, but that of course would be a near impossible job.

"What A Life" is new too, a catchy song with nice guitar licks. Fun seems to be the keyword on this new album, and one thing's for sure, The 2-Tones had a lot of fun recording it. Sid King's "Purr Kitty Purr" is always great, a very simple classic that usually does pretty well on a record hop. Half way through, here's a country ballad to let you rest your feet for a while. If you have read my reviews before, you must know that I'm no sucker for ballads, but this is really a very good & sensitive song.

Freddie Hart's "Snatch It And Grab It" has been covered quite a lot of times before (Hal Peters, Deke Dickerson, Mars Attacks), so there must be a reason for that. There is: it's a great song! We must have an Elvis song too of course, to keep the chicks happy, so here's "I Beg Of You". Tony's voice isn't exactly fitted for Elvis songs, so maybe a little more ritojo input would have been nice. The originals "Baby What You're Doing To Me" and "Who Left The Door Open" do make up for that though. The slow paced "You Look So Good To Me" is, yes you guessed it, too slow for me. The Charlie Feathers classic "One Hand Loose" is always a good idea, although the tempo on this rendition is taken down a bit. Still a great song from a great era.

Marty Robbins "Pain And Misery" is a great closer, very well done. The overall sound of the album is a little flat though, I had to turn up the bass quite a bit to get the sound I like best (slap that bass a little louder Devil Woman). Most of all, this second 2-Tones album is a lot of Fun & Joy and a great party CD.

Three Little Chickens / Let The Music Play / Dancing Shoes / Call The Firebrigade / Who Was That Cat? / What A Life / Purr Kitty Purr / Give Me A Call / Snatch It And Grab It / I Beg Of You / Baby What You're Doing To Me / Who Left The Door Open / You Look So Good To Me / One Hand Loose / Pain And Misery

The 2-Tones are:
Tony "SwingTony" Gilde - Vocals, Lead Guitar
Jolanda "Devil Woman" De Regt - Upright Bass
Erik "Enrico" Knulst - Rhythm Guitar, Banjo
Rik "Ricky" Lingier - Drums


Contact & bookings:
'Swing Tony' Gilde
Assumburg 61
4385EH Vlissingen
Phone: +31 620034880 / +31 118466623

Jaap: +31 624610227 

Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005