All That' s Old Is News Again

Burnin'
Shufflin' Grand Dads

By Paul Moffett

Whoever said thirty years is too long to wait to get a record out just hasn't talked to Marvin Maxwell enough. Maxwell, as most Louisvillians know, is the drummer whose roots in the local scene go back to 1965 with Soul, Inc. and Elysian Field and run straight through the years to Mom's Musician's General Store and MERF and now the Shufflin' Grand Dads, his latest group involving Wayne Young and Tom (Cosmo) Cosdon.

The Shufflin' Grand Dads have been around for a while, mostly working on recording, still looking for the combination of song and style that would give them just one more shot at that fabled record deal. Maxwell is just the man with the most colorful mouth, although many (if not any) of the several players involved with this project are plenty colorful enough. You could call it a Louisville supergroup and not go too far wrong, if age doesn't matter.

So they guys rounded up the best rock 'n' roll tunes they could and cut a CD. And 'cut' is the operant word here: the CD itself was cut by a laser into the shape of an old codger in a rocking chair, playing an electric guitar. They also ranged far and wide in their selection of players to present each tune, from current fiddle whiz Peter Rhee to Bennett Higgins to the Pearls to Pete Peterson and more.

But really, the only question worth answering is this one: will the CD make the 5-CD cut onto the changer and stay there?

And the answer is: only if you like rock 'n' roll served up like it's s'posed to be: fast, with an unstoppable backbeat. No Nineties' morose, grinding introspectiveness here, just straight-up rock.

Cosmo can still yowl like a horny tomcat on a warm spring night - just listen to his vocals on the Tim Krekel tune "Burnin'," which opens and closes the CD. (The last version has Wayne Young's vocals. Take your pick.) Wayne still shows he's got it on his signature tune "Rock 'n' Roll is the Answer."

Keyboardist Pete Peterson contributes a bump 'n' grinder, "Howl for You Baby," which the Cos handles with the ease of James Brown singing "Please, Please, Please." Peterson pops in with a barrelhouse piano section worthy of ol' Jerry Lee himself. Krekel contributes a total of three tunes to the nine songs, including "No More Dough Giacomo," and "Can't Help Myself," as well as the two cuts of "Burnin.'" One cover tune makes the cut: "Whole Lotta Shakin'," which serves as a familiar anchor to the sound and fury.

Even if you are an over-the-hill Boomer - or maybe especially if you are an over-the-hill Boomer who doesn't buy new music any more - run right out and grab a copy of this one, you'll like it.