The Kingmakers – Last night in Nashville (CD review)

Posted by Miriam On February - 27 - 20114,312 views

Formed in 2006, The Kingmakers are Ottawa’s premier rockabilly, swing, jive, country, rock and roll combo pulling out all the stop to put on an amazing live show that appeals to all ages. The band fuses a mix of styles from hillbilly to swing to R&B, into high-energy music.

The band features Clark Lawlor (vocals), John Cormier (guitar), Stephen D. Donnelly (upright bass) and Ian Cook (drums).

A huge fan of early SUN Records and the pioneers of rock and roll such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, in 2007 the band travelled to Memphis, Tennessee to visit Graceland, Beale St. and historic SUN Studio. At the end of the tour of SUN Studio, while the other tourists were being escorted out, The Kingmakers took out their instruments, plugged in, and began a one-night session with engineer James Lott. The result is a raw, “live off the floor” recording much like the greats would have made back in the mid-fifties. This session was released as the band’s first CD, “Live at SUN Studio”.

Not content to rest on their laurels, the band started work almost immediately on the follow-up. Working in their own studio, “Tupelo To Memphis” was recorded in the fall and winter of 2008 and released in 2009. Featuring 15 originals, the CD showcases the band’s writing, bringing a fresh sound to a vintage style. The album received great reviews from fans and in the press. In 2010 The Kingmakers released their third album, “Last Night In Nashville”, recorded in Nashville TN at Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio.

The Kingmakers

In one marathon day, The Kingmakers managed to record 13 tracks, including 3 with J.M. Van Eaton on drums and 2 with The Jordanaires on vocals. They returned to add a few finishing touches at home, including horns courtesy of locals Zeek Gross and Kelly Craig, and banjo courtesy of Keith Snider (Fiftymen).

The album starts with the up-tempo song Well well Michelle. Good smooth drums, the real old Sun-sound and this song is accompanied by The Jordanaires, former backing vocal group of Elvis in the fifties.
The second track on the album is High Roller, a kind of fast bluesy song. The horns are a nice addition here; the song reminds me a bit of the music in the movie ‘The Blues Brothers’.
The third track on the album, Saturday Night, is my favorite song on the album. Pure rock ‘n’ roll, you feel like grabbing your petticoat (if you have one) and making a dance.
The other song on the album with backing vocals by The Jordanaires is Annabelle, a very cheerful country song. Both the song Well well Michelle as the song Annabelle are twice on the album; a regular track and an alternative track with J.M. Van Eaton on drums.
Most of the tracks on the album are up-tempo rockabilly songs, the song that is different  is Prom night car crash. Much slower and kind of a ballad song. Very nice sung.
The song Beale St. Memphis TN morning-after blues speaks for itself, a real blues song.
The CD is a must have especially when you like the old Sun-sound, great to listen to and also very danceable.

For more info you can check their website (there’s a link to the mp3’s) or

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