The Boogie Kings – Disturbing the Peace
CD: 12 Songs, 52:10 Minutes
Styles: Blues Covers, Piano Blues and Boogie, Harmonica Blues
A roster of postmodern blues band names is like ancient Greece: there are a lot of kings. We have the Travellin’ Blue Kings, the Cash Box Kings, the Cook County Kings, and the Coyote Kings, to name a few. Enter Michigan’s Bob Baldori and Arthur Migliazza, known as the Boogie Kings. They’re wanted all over the globe for Disturbing the Peace with their powerhouse piano and harmonica music. Despite the title of their newest album, however, its twelve tracks will instill peace in listeners. Each song flows seamlessly into the next, creating a tranquil whole. This is trance blues of the highest order, allowing one to zone out and get in the zone all at once. Most of the offerings here are covers, including “Sing Sing Sing,” “Blues with a Feeling,” and a lovely rendition of “Tennessee Waltz.” The Boogie Kings’ vocals are crisp and conversational, with the patter style of Professor Harold Hill on “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man. Shrewdly, these veterans of the boogie scene let their instruments of choice sing their hearts out.
Growing up in Dearborn and East Lansing, Michigan, pianist and harpist Bob Baldori was deeply influenced by the rock and roll of Chuck Berry. Bob’s band, the Woolies, scored a national hit in 1966 with a remake of Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” for Lou Adler’s Dunhill label, and he went on to accompany the mighty Mr. Berry himself for over 50 years. As for piano man Arthur Migliazza? He was a prodigy, studying blues and boogie piano from the age of ten in Washington, D.C. “When I started listening to the old blues piano recordings, the sound and the emotion of it just really resonated with me,” the CD liner notes reveal.
The following song shines among the rest, not only because it’s original but because it’s one of the few tunes where the vocals stand out, a la Randy Newman.
Track 04: “Boogie Woogie Man” – This one starts out as a laid-back autobiographical ditty (“Well, people told my mother that I would be a star someday. I love what I’ve been doing, and you can hear it when I play”), and soon launches into an all-out piano thunderstorm, middle and high notes raining down while ominous undertones rumble. It takes a lot of stamina to play boogie like this, and both musicians have it in spades.
Disturbing the Peace actually promotes peace in one’s mind, so recline, relax, and enjoy!