www.mary4music.com review- Earl & The Agitators - "Shaken & Stirred"


Earl & The Agitators All Star Band
Featuring Scott Holt
"Shaken & Stirred"
Foghat Records
By Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro © December 2018
"Shaken & Stirred" is the second release from the Foghat spin off band known as Earl & The Agitators.  The band - which was born out a passion for rock, blues and country music - consists of: Foghat founding member Roger Earl on drums; Foghat alumni Bryan Bassett on lead, slide and bass guitars, Craig MacGregor on bass and Rodney Quinn on bass and vocals; ten year Buddy Guy alum Scott Holt on lead guitar and vocals; Tony Bullard on guitar; and Mark Petrocelli on percussion.
"Shaken & Stirred" contains eighteen tracks totaling nearly eighty minutes of smokin' music.  Of them, six are band originals and five are bonus tracks recorded live at Club Arcada in St. Charles, IL.  According to the band, the recipe used in the creation of their music involves taking some old Chess and Sun Records 45's and tossing them into a blender with a dollop of thundering drums, thumping bass and searing electric guitars.  Now you know what you're in for.
The disc opens with "Upside Of Lonely" (Hambridge/Nicholson/Thackery), one of the very few songs ever recorded that attempt to make being lonely a good thing.  The song uses a list of mostly lame but somewhat humorous situations that can now take place in your life since being dumped by your lady.  They include: always having ESPN on and being able to watch the game all day; eating pizza three times a day and never having to watch your weight; never having to hear from a mother-in-law; being able to drop dirty clothes on the floor and letting the trash pile up outside the door;  and of course, that all important ability to now smoke a big ol' cigar in the living room.  All envious things indeed.  Musically, It's a shuffle that features Roger and Craig in a strong rhythm groove, and Scott - doing another of the things that being lonely affords him to do more of - play smokin' guitar leads any time he dam well likes.
On an original track that asks the question "Where's the Rock n' Roll?" the answer is easily quite evident - RIGHT HERE!  This one's six minutes of what put Foghat on the music map in the first place - very hard driving rhythm, seriously smoking slide guitar and profound vocals.  Oh yeah, your rock n' roll is right here baby.
Bordering on a ballad and being a bit more into the slow blues arena than the rest of the tracks, "Love Isn't Kind" - another of the originals - is one of my personal favorites.  Unlike the upside of lonely, this one's all about the downside of love.  "It will break your heart and laugh while it dies; it feeds on the pain and on the tears in your eyes.  It will twist you up and break you inside; it feeds on your tears and the sound of your cries." are just a few of love's sometimes vicious characteristics.  Wearing his heart on his sleeve and his sorrow so evident, Scott owns this one.  Musically, there are several extended guitar stand outs that, by my taste, are some of the best on the disc.      
By far, the original "Honey Do List" is the funkiest track of the bunch.  From the short opening drum solo quickly followed by some heavy bass lines, Roger and Craig are all over this one.  Definitely one for the mover and shakers.
Staying in the rhythm driven mode is a track titled "Runaway Tra......opps, excuse me - the music took over my thoughts.....it's actually "Lonesome Train" (Burnette/Burnett/Moore/Suotsky).  Think of a steam engine with four men vehemently shoveling coal into the fire.                       
Before hearing "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (K. Kristofferson), if you had told me that I'd be hearing this group of rockers this doing a country song I'd probably have my doubts about that.  That said, they didn't just do it - they nailed it.  From the vocals, to the slide guitar and right down to that get-a-long-little-doggies type rhythm, these Johnny Cash loving rockers were all over this one.  Can Earl and the Agitators playin' the Grand Ole Opry be far away?  Probably very far but on the other hand, from what I just heard, I wouldn't rule out a full tilt country album.  
There's probably not a boomer aged TV fan out there that doesn't remember the "Peter Gunn Theme" (H. Mancini) but I promise you this - from the original, right through all it's covers , even Emerson, Lake and Palmer's masterpiece - you'll never hear a more aggressive version than this.  On this seven-and-a-half minute live version, the horns, keyboards and synthesizers have been laid to rest and the rhythm, percussion and guitars have been cranked up several notches.  WOW!    
Other tracks on "Shaken & Stirred" that are literally shaken and stirred include: three other originals titled "I'm Coming Home, " "Fallen Angel" and "All Because Of You"; "Guess Things Happen That Way"  (J. H. Clement); "High Heal Sneakers(R. Higginbothom); "Linda Lu(R. Sharp); "Gone Dead Train(Nitzsche/Titelman); "Love me Love You Baby(W. Dixon); "Shakey Ground(Hazel/Bowen/Boyd), "Wild Horses(Jagger/Richards); and "Knock On Wood" (Cropper/Floyd).    
With the 2019 Blues Music Awards nominees about to be announced on January 9th, I'm thinking I just reviewed one of the nominations for the "Best Rock/Blues Album" category.  If I'm correct, it's got my vote.
www.earlandtheagitators.com is where you now need go to get your hands on a copy of "Shaken & Stirred" and to find out more about the band.  When you do, Please tell the guys - and Linda Too - that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter "Blewzzman" Lauro
                                  Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
                                 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient
Please "Like" Our Facebook Page.....

 

Best Classic Bands

Thank you to Best Classic Bands for the post!
Release date 10/26/18...SHAKEN & STIRRED...

Sittin In With the Cat

A cool interview with Roger Earl on "Sittin' In With The Cat" with Ray White!

"The Kings of Boogie Rock & Blues' original drummer Roger Earl joins us to talk about the bands' alter ego - Earl and the Agitators, whose brand new album is titled Shaken & Stirred. He also shares with award-winning program director Ray White, his insights into Foghat's last album Live at the Belly Up and the loss of his good friend and the bands' long time bassist, Craig MacGregor...."
Read more at http://sittinginwiththecat.libsyn.com/#Mr5JpIv6zbjrI8cb.99

The Liquid Conversations Podcast

Check out this podcast with Roger Earl!
The Liquid Conversations' host Shawn SixX catches up with Roger Earl of FOGHAT at the 2018 Las Vegas Bike Fest to talk about all things music. Take a listen to their chat about how it feels to be playing after all these years, the excesses in Rock & Roll, remaking songs of yesteryear, having your manager be your wife, if being in a band is a real job, and new music coming from Earl & The Agitators. Comedy ensues in this interview for sure!
 
Thank you Shawn Clayton for spending some time with us last week in Vegas!

letsrock.ca

A cool interview with Earl #1 Scott Holt
http://lets-rock.ca/featur…/let-s-rock-chats-with-scott-holt\

Hairy George and the Usual Suspects Show on WLIBR

Hairy George and the Usual Suspects Show on WLIBR present Earl & The Agitators live on air 5pm-8pm 0/29/19! Click to listen:  Mixlr.com/WLIBR-Radio and Spreaker.com/User/BikerRadioStation 

classicrockrevisited.com

"Every note in every song is powered by passion. Guitarist Scott Holt, best known as being the guitarist for Buddy Guy, has plenty of passion in his playing.  Bryan Bassett, however, is not to be topped by Scott or anyone else. In fact, this is a collaborative effort, not a competition. These guys set out to make killer music together that made them happy.  They succeeded..."

CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

The Saloon Rock Club

Roger Earl talks Foghat, Earl & the Agitators and their upcoming show with Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds at Penn's Peak on May 18th 
https://www.mixcloud.com/kevin-law/the-saloon-rock-club-january-17-2019-interview-with-roger-earl/