The Cadillac Kings – The Secret Of My Success | Album Review

thecadillackingcdThe Cadillac Kings – The Secret Of My Success

33 Records – 2016

14 tracks; 59 minutes

The Cadillac Kings are undoubtedly the top rhythm and blues band on the UK scene and their latest album that may well be their best yet.  The line-up remains stable from the previous release: Mal Barclay on guitar and vocals, Tim Penn on piano and accordion, Paul Cuff on bass, Roy Webber on drums and vocals, singer and main writer Mike Thomas adding slide and harp.  Mike wrote ten tracks, adapted one tune and there are three covers.

Opener “For Richer, For Poorer” has great T-Bone Walker guitar from Mal and Mike’s cynical humour as he advises on marriage: “Get married in the morning, that’s the sensible way; then if it don’t work out you haven’t wasted the whole day”. Tim’s piano is at the heart of “Five Won’t Getcha Ten” as Mike tells of ‘a real heartbreaker’ and “Wasted” has some depressing news: “when we reach the age of 50 we get the face we deserve”! Tim’s accordion drives “Cadillac Shake”, an ode to classic cars and Mike’s harp adds to the shuffle “I Ain’t Gonna Miss Ya”, another tale of romance gone west. “Left-Handed Woman” is another comic song done in Jimmy Reed style and “One Step Forward” references Bo Diddley with maracas and shimmering guitar.  The band hits a rocking groove on the title track in which Mike seeks his Dad’s advice – get five women with all the virtues and make sure they never meet!  “Stalking Blues” is a darker song, apparently inspired by watching “Fatal Attraction” and “Everybody’s Out” uses a Charleston tempo as the band swings like crazy and Mike vents his frustration about selfishness.

Turning to the covers, the piano leads on Professor Longhair’s New Orleans classic “In The Night” while TV Slim’s “Flatfoot Sam” has Tim’s rocking piano, Roy’s rhythm work on the rims and Mal’s scorching guitar break.  Rockin’ Sidney Simien’s “No Good Woman” features Mal’s echoey guitar and Mike’s harp to evoke the swamps of Louisiana.  Mike adapted Henry Glover’s “California Sun”, relocated it to Louisiana and renamed it “Soleil de Louisiane” to provide a rocking finale to the disc.

This disc has everything that fans of the band expect: great playing, appropriate reference to their influences and some hilarious lyrics on the originals.  Unfamiliar with the CK’s?  Check them out and buy this terrific disc.

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