In many ways, the United Kingdom is the birthplace of modern blues/rock music. A number of the finest US blues artists left for the UK in the 50’s in search of the audience they could not find in the US due to racial inequality. Consequently, an entire generation of young, white UK kids grew up listening to players like Freddie King, et al.
Let us now fast forward about 35 years to 1988 and the formation of yet another of the many great UK blues/rock bands The Hamsters.
Originally founded as a Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top cover band, The Hamsters have grown into one of the finest blues/rock bands in the world. The CD “Hamster Jam” finds the band in its strongest and most enjoyable environment: that of a live setting. “Hamster Jam” is an absolute, non-stop, straight-on, blues/rock classic. From the opening guitar warm-up preceding “It’s Only Rock and Roll” to the fade out of their finale “Romeo’s Escape”, “Hamster Jam” delivers a king-sized dose of blues/rock power.
The band is extremely tight throughout the set and each of the players very talented. Their Hendrix covers are done unlike most other bands, in that they do not feature long, over-extended guitar breaks, something I found quite refreshing. But fear not: Snail’s-Pace Slim provides plenty enough hot guitar licks to satisfy the axe addict in anyone. Yet, man does not live by axe alone: Zsa Zsa Poltergeist will possess your ears with his bewitching bass guitar, while Rev. Otis Elevator will take you straight to the penthouse with his rock solid drum work. Picking favorites on the CD is difficult, as every selection is enjoyable. Their cover of the much recorded “Crossroads” may well be my favorite version of the Robert Johnson classic.
The CD, which has just been re-released due to popular demand, is available through the band’s website at www.the-hamsters.cx at a very reasonable price. Don’t even bother looking for sound samples, just order this CD before it sells out again.
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