This CD review was originally published in the March 12, 2015 edition of Blues Blast Magazine. Be sure to check out the rest of the magazine at www.bluesblastmagazine.com
The Hep Cat Boo Daddies – Down Right Nasty, A Tribute to Sean “Evil” Gerovitz
Mosher Street Records
11 tracks / 55:30
If you are not from South Florida you may never have heard of them, but back in the day the Hep Cat Boo Daddies played an intriguing blend of blues, rockabilly and surf music. Though the band went their separate ways in 2010, they recently put together a tribute album dedicated to their bass player who had passed away in 2013. Down Right Nasty, a Tribute to Sean “Evil” Gerovitz is a fine way to remember this departed soul.
The Hep Cat Boo Daddies came about after the demise of Sean Gerovitz and Joel DaSilva’s old psychobilly band, Underbelly. Based out of the Fort Lauderdale area, the band played almost every week at the Poorhouse Bar as a trio with DaSilva on vocals and guitar, Gerovitz on bass, and Randy Blitz on drums. The mostly played live, but they also put out two CDs and a DVD in the mid-2000s. This new album is made up of material culled from their set at the 2004 Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk Blues Fest and their 2005 session at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. In the final mix for this disc, most of the songs are from the live show.
Their set kicks off with the original studio recording of “The Fatboy Shake,” an instrumental that starts with a Bo Diddley beat and then transitions into a hard-rocking surf tune. From there they change directions and play a live version of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” with rockabilly-style vocals. On both of these songs, DaSilva shows great prowess on the guitar, so it is not too much of a stretch as they transition in a “You,” a 6-minute AOR jam that could have come from a mid-70s Robin Trower album. This trio rocks!
After this, the rest of Down Right Nasty is all live material. Covers include a hard rocking version of Lazy Lester’s “Sugar Coated Love” (with lounge singer vocals), a slightly sloppy version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child,” and the rockabilly fun of Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials’ “Chicken, Gravy and Biscuits.” They threw Alec Rice Miller’s “I’m Just a Playboy” into the mix, and it ends up sounding like an energetic drum solo with a 12-bar blues song laid over the top of it. There is also Ron Holden and the Thunderbirds’ 1940 song, “My Babe” with blistering guitar work, punk rock drums and a jamming bass interlude. This is the standout track of the album and it really captures what the band was all about.
Their original tunes are very solidly written, including the more conventional blues of “Evil Woman,” a nine-minute live track. Guest artist Joe Saint brings his classy organ work to “Beale St. Shuffle” which provides a fun break from the rest of the guitar-centered playlist. Lastly, they chose to wrap things up with their usual show closer, “Double Surf,” a high-energy surf rock instrumental.
As you can see, there is a little something for everybody in this CD. So, if you only listen to classic blues material, the Hep Cat Boo Daddies’ Down Right Nasty, a Tribute to Sean “Evil” Gerovitz will surely expand your horizons. If you give it a chance you might even want to track down their previous albums, Long Time Comin’ and hotrodsexgod, as they were a seriously tight and creative trio who gave it their all in their live show and in the studio. Check it out for yourself to see if it is your cup of tea!