|Bare Knuckle Piano, Rip Masters
This CD contains 18 rockin tracks, featuring great original songs with lots of Boogie Woogie piano, slappin bass, cool guitar and fine vocals. Here is a list of the tracks:
-Bare Knuckle Piano the title track, is just what you think... a pounding track featuring Rips famous keyboard skills... he is the "Cat on the Keys"!!!
-Don't Dog This Cat features Rip prominently on guitar. This song appeared in an earlier acoustic-flavored version, but it has gone so well on stage that Rip decided to record it the way he does it now.
-Lucky Devil is a straight out rocker with great lyrics, pounding piano, and a catchy melody. Guitar work provided by longtime cohort Mark Shark
-Tonight I'm Gonna Play For You is a smoldering stroller in the Jack Scott tradition. The atmospheric guitar work is from Joel Morin.
-Rockabilly Man is the song Rip is probably best known for writing. At this moment it has close to 150,000 views on YouTube... and that's just one version (by Ray Campi) There are about a dozen others including Britain's Firebirds, The song was originally included on Rip's first album, and since then it has been recorded and performed by countless other groups and artists. Rip says he has recorded it before, but he wanted to include a new version on this album. Guitars by Buzz and Joel and the usual pumpin' piano by Rip. Ray Campi on bass... just like in 1978!!!
-In the Mood, Rip's pumpin' piano injects a fresh energy into this classic tune from the 40's that was rocked up by Earl Palmer & Ernie Fields in 1959.
-Rose of Love is a beautiful ballad, one that Gene Vincent recorded for Rollin' Rock (in his last recordings). Rip played piano on the original Rollin' Rock release... this is his tribute. Buzz Campbell adds fine guitar work.
-No Way is a rocker in the tradition of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" with its infectious beat... a favorite at live appearances. Rip on tremelo guitar.
-Big Fat Liar is a flat out rocker from Rips pen... I think we all know someone this lyric fits!!! Piano and guitar from Rip. Great slappin bass by Tony Red Horse.
-Rockabilly Forever... Rip was one of the founders of the Rockabilly revival and this song captures the dedication true Rockabillies feel for their music.
-Well Well Well is a song from Rip's first album, released on Rollin Rock. This new treatment is how he does it live... swinging! Great drums by DJ Bonebrake.
-All Night Express is the song that started it all (in Rockabilly) for Rip Masters. He had made a demo of it when a friend heard it and said he knew someone who was interested in that kind of music. The friend took Rip to Ron Weiser who liked the song and soon put Rip to work as a piano player, writer and artist. This song was on Ray Campi's "Gone Gone Gone" album, sung by Rip as a member of the Rockabilly Rebels, but it has never been on a Rip Masters album. This is a new recording, featuring Ray Campi on bass.
-You Go Your Way is a departure in style, featuring strong boogie piano and a laid-back swinging early 50's groove laid down by longtime drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz.
-Paint The Town leans a little to the 'billy side of things... another new original song, with guitars from Rip and Mark.
-Rockabilly Redneck has a New Orleans flavored beat with a strident piano and recurring guitar figure. The lyrics reflect the title.
-All The Way is another new original, done in a somewhat Gene Vincent style with great guitar work from Buzz Campbell.
-The Flight of The Bumble Bee Boogie is where Rip does his frantic take on rockin up Rimsky-Korsakoff's classic. Great bass from Jimmy Harris.
-Diane is a harmony laden ballad with doo wop and Country echoes,
Another new tune penned by Rip.
A new album by piano player, guitarist, vocalist and song writer Rip Masters will always put a smile on my face. Previous albums of this rocking cat are still high on my list of favorite records, because Rip plays wild and authentic 50s style rock 'n' roll and rockabilly, the way it was meant to be. He can easily match with great rock 'n' roll piano players like Jerry Lee Lewis and Freddy 'Fingers' Lee. Live shows of the latter are responsible for my love of piano rockers, unfortunately I have never seen Rip live on stage yet, but you can bet he's on top of my list.
There are 18 fantastic new recorded tunes on this album, Rip wrote all but three and made a point to feature as much pumpin' piano and smokin' guitar as possible. I don't have to review the songs separately, because I couldn't do better than the press release that Rip included in the package he sent to me, so I'll just stick to raving about the fabulous quality of both the recordings and the musicians. I just love albums like this with such a wide variety of original music ranging from rockabilly to rock 'n' roll to ballads and tributes, over an hour of listening pleasure, and I can assure you that you won't get bored for one second!
RIP MASTERS BIOGRAPHY: CLICK HERE
Bare Knuckle Piano / Don't Dog This Cat / Lucky Devil / Tonight I'm Gonna Play For You / Rockabilly Man / In The Mood / Rose Of Love / No Way / Big Fat Liar / Rockabilly Forever / Well, Well, Well / All Night Express / You Go Your Way / Paint The Town / Rockabilly Redneck / All The Way / Flight Of The Bumble Bee Boogie / Diane
Rip Masters - Vocals, Piano, Guitar
Joel Morin, Buzz Campbell, Mark Shark, John Wesley Durbin - Guitar
Jimmy Lee Harris, Tony 'Slash' Red Horse, Ray Campi - Bass
Bermuda Schwartz, D.J. Bonebrake - Drums
P.O. Box 9073
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2010
Press release sent in by Rip Masters, used with permission