If we’re talking location, Jimmy and the Mustangs is a group who call California their home state but they are now based out of one of the music capitals of the US, Austin, TX. If we’re talking decade, Jimmy and the Mustangs are straight out of the 50’s despite their interesting journey from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s in order to get there. This now 100% rockabilly band began (hilariously) as a punk band. In fact, in the 80’s Jimmy and the Mustangs opened for The Go-Go’s. That wasn’t their only encounter with famed musicians, however. The band was hired by THE Robert Plant and later shared the stage with The Boss. After some time, the band meandered and explored until they landed on their very own style of swing and rockabilly which is where they remain today.
Jimmy and the Mustangs is fronted by Jimmy Haddox (lead vocals, lead guitar and rhythm guitar) and backed by Tom Coplan (lead guitar, slide guitar), Dylan Cavalier (upright bass) and John Powell (drums, percussion and vocals). Back in September the band released their latest full length appropriately titled, Another Round. The last record they released was in 1984.
Another Round is an upfront rockabilly, swing, hip twisting, foot tapping record that doesn’t waste time with innuendos. It’s not a bad thing either. Their music is fun, tasteful and to the point. The song I’m thinking of as a perfect example is “Rock My World.” Enough is implied in the title and the first line
I only got one thing on my mind,
Making love to you all the time.
The beat, melody and feel of the song could easily be in the musical, Grease, but these lyrics wouldn’t have gotten by back then. That’s the beauty of reinventing a style like rockabilly/swing in the 21st century.
The record opens with brass, Haddox’s smooth and heart-melting voice and a Vegas-inspired scene, perfectly painted with the lyrics. “Roll the Dice” is a smooth launch into the time capsule you’re about to jump into. This whole album makes me want to head back to the 1950’s for a night.
Not a whole lot slows down once this album kicks off. Let’s just say it’s not a bed time album but it’s perfect for an adult sock-hop. One of my personal favorites is “Ready Set Go.” It’s a high speed track fully equipped with everything a dance-worthy track needs: quick tempo, catchy chorus, and a no-wallflowers-allowed attitude.
The first half of the album is jam-packed with high speed dance-inducing tracks that only someone without a soul could resist moving their body to. Things slow down a bit on the latter half of the record, allowing you to catch your breath. “Hotel San Jose” is a saucy slow dance, “Bourbon Street” is a blue grass/country two-stepper and “Love is Just Pretend” is a love-soaked slow dancer, sure to turn your heart into a puddle and maybe even allow you to believe that love isn’t just pretend. All of this is in preparation for the last track, “Long Black Train” that requires some serious stitch-inducing peppermint-twisting.
Altogether, Another Round is a celebration of music from the past crafted by incredible musicians of the present. If you see Jimmy and the Mustangs are heading your way any time soon, don’t miss it. You can find their newest record on iTunes and cdBaby.