By chance, I came across the original promo film (checkout the sidebar) for You Don’t Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War, shot at the Weeley Festival in 1971.
NEW 3CD COMPILATION & GOLD VINYL : If you follow Ray’s Twitter page, you will see that there is to be a limited edition 3CD compilation and 500 gold vinyl made available in the UK in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda stores. Release date thought to the 20th of August by Demon Records.
FACEBOOK : There is a Mungo Jerry discussion page up-and-running on Facebook, something else I came across by accident. Click HERE and log-in to have a look.
NEW ALBUM : XSTREME : News just in direct from Ray, “I decided to call the album that I’m currently working on Xstreme because of its diversity, and back in the UK after five weeks away, the album is now complete”.
He told us that, “the songs for the album have been jammed through on the tour (of Germany before Christmas) and we played one of them on the Madness gig that was did in Minehead.
“I have also written most of the songs for the rockabilly album.
“I have more or less sorted out a worldwide deal for physical distribution of the new stuff and the back catalogue too.
MICK O’HANLON’s EARLY REVIEW OF ‘XSTREME’
“Extremely Satisfied!” That’s the verdict on this new offering from Mungo Jerry that delivers nine brand-new compositions as well as a fantastic new rendition of The Wind is Blowin’, a gig favourite that also appears on 100% Live (2016).
If your mood needs improving, just press “play” on this album and you can forget your woes for the next 45 minutes while you let the infectious magic that is Mungo Jerry change your day.
Overall, Xstreme is a collection of fresh songs written by Ray that fully gun the engines of his high-performance band. Always eager to push limits, Ray takes his band on a musical odyssey that will please every listener. This latest album reflects new output from an artist who has found a new wellspring of inspiration and it will no doubt be celebrated by fans as a tour de force. Like the best of Ray’s albums over the past 50 years, there is a sampling of many Mungo Jerry moods here for everyone’s taste.
STRAY DOG (3.53) : This is a solid and satisfying mid-tempo blues number. Driven by a strong bass line and an unrelenting sax, Ray’s strong vocals welcome listeners to this opener. I had it on in the car and it took me two trips to figure out that it reminded me slightly of Boot Powers’s classic, She’s Gone. It’s one you’ll be humming before long.
GOT TO HAVE A PLAN (4.47) : This funky blues song provides a complete change of direction where Ray coaxes virtuoso performances from his band. His joyous guitar riff sails over the whole song as he controls every sound he masterfully pulls from six mere strings. The nimble and decorous bass line will set many feet tapping.
MR. TEACHER (2.42) : Right: roll up the rug and put away the cups and saucers. There’s a rockabilly party in this kitchen tonight! Suddenly, it’s 1961 again and Sun Studios has appeared in our kitchen. Everyone will enjoy this throbbing rock-out. Mind the dresser there!
WHITE DRESS (4.39) : Prepare to surrender yourself to the groove as White Dress leads you to a white, sun-kissed beach! Smooth sax, cool drumming, soft bass and brass organ keyboards complete this Caribbean anthem to love. Could someone please give my hammock a gentle nudge? And maybe another pina colada if you don’t mind. This blissful Mungo Jerry reggae number is typically full of sunshine and happiness. Don’t let it end. Beautiful!
10-FOOT BANKROLL (3.31) : This is a heavy, driven blues song that tells the tale of a lonely, rich man who has everything that money can buy…except love. Ray effectively employs experimental vocals that switch from left to right, seemingly across the room, if you play it loud enough. The funky underlay adds to the singer’s paranoia:
“I’ve got a bankroll ten feet long,
Who’s gonna miss me when I’m gone?”
MESSING AROUND (2.42) : Did we leave that rug rolled up? Good, then it’s back to our kitchen for an exuberant jug band number.
The sound of a needle scratching its way across an ancient vinyl opens and closes this little gem. It transports us magically to the heyday of Mungomania. You will smile and be delighted by lots of kazoo, plenty of da da dee dee dee da da and a dash or two of rooby roo ri ri ra raa.
It’s nostalgic and uplifting because it’s brilliant to see that this kind of Mungo song is still going strong. This is a great good time track. Love it!
FLYING ON THE GRAVY TRAIN (4.59) : The entire band produces a top-drawer and exotic musical backdrop as a dramatic intro to Ray’s echoing vocals. In a way, it’s reminiscent of Mungo’s ‘continental’ phase from the late 1970s but with the added sophistication that a half-century at the top – and a great band – brings.
Keep a glass of your special-reserve whisky as you enjoy this song. It deserves the best.
COME TO THE PARTY (2.44) : That rug can stay in the kitchen corner for this rockabilly floor-filler. Wild harp blowing from Ray Dorset fuels this good-time song all the way through the roof.
HARD WORKING STRANGER (3.21) : Take this south-bound special straight to Bluesville in the company of Mungo Jerry, arguably the best travelling partner you’d want for any blues journey. Relax and enjoy this full-blooded thumper.
THE WIND IS BLOWING (6.07) : The pick of the bunch!
The previous nine tracks had almost and deservedly exhausted my store of superlatives but this is the best version I ever heard of this Mungo Jerry gig standard. Ray has saved the best for last, in an album that provides a feast of entertainment.
Comments coming in from those lucky enough to hear Xstreme include;
“…top stuff throughout as ever, particularly Mr.Teacher and Come To The Party, very Fats Domino-like, but the funky stuff with predominant sax on the other tracks works really well…”
“…it’s punchy, it’s versatile, it sounds fantastic…”
“…In The Summertime part 727 it is not…
“…Great! What else? Enjoyed every bit of it…”
“…I have a one word review – WOW!…”
“…funky, funky, funky…”
“…what a fantastic album, great songs, great production…”
THE BOOK : Ray updated on the latest position regarding the forthcoming book, “Mick has written about 480 pages for the forthcoming Mungo Jerry book, You Don’t Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War, so far and we are working out how to include all of the facts that have so far been left out”.
Mick has been working on the book for some time and having seen a draft, it promises to be a must for all fans.
With a blues based set, Ray Dorset and his band continue to play live gigs all over Europe and have several festival appearances lined up for next summer
Always check with the venue before travelling…
NOW IN THE OFFICIAL ON-LINE SHOP…
Now available from the official Mungo Jerry on-line shop are two brilliant new DVD/CD’s.
Firstly, the long awaited Mungo Jerry movie, 24 Days, a documentary style record of Ray and the band’s tour of Germany, Switzerland and Belgium during the summer of 2016.
The package is completed by a complete recording of the tour’s last gig in Baden Baden, a show performed for the German national radio station, SWR, and broadcast live, playing out to a black and white version of the movie.
The second DVD is film of the Bansko Jazz Festival gig the band performed in 2017. A CD of the gig containing featured tracks is also included in the package.
Click here for the SHOP
|31st May||Felsenkeller Festival, Leipzig, Germany|
|1st June||Q Factory, Amsterdam, Holland – CANCELLED|
|2nd June||Sumpfblume, Hameln, Germany – more info|
|4th June||Alte Ziegelei, Hullhorsst, Germany – more info|
|5th June||Hotel Landgashof, Ochsen Sinzheim, Sinzheim, Germany – more info|
|6th June||Musiktheater Rex, Bensheim – more info|
|7th June||The Rolling Stones Museum, Luchow, Germany – more info|
|8th June||Hanover Blues Garage, Isernhagen-Niederhagener, Bauernschaft, Germany – more info|
|13th June||100 Club, London – more info|
|14th June||Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – more info|
BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB : 14th June, 2019.
Stray Dog/Come to the Party/Flying On The Gravy Train/Lady Rose/Feels Like I’m In Love (Elvis, Hi Energy, Singalong versions)/The Wind is Blowing/La La La/Touch the Sky/10ft Bankroll/Got to Have a Plan/Little Miss Hipshake/Black Girl/Rhythm Is a Healer/Singing the Blues/In the Summertime/Hippy ‘Til I Die
(Encore ) You Make Me Happy/You Don’t Have to Be In the Army To Fight In The War/Alright, Alright, Alright/Baby Jump/Really Had a Goodtime.
“Incredible gig, best for me for years and years, can’t understand the tickets sales for Durham as the place was packed and the audience was well into it and singing along throughout.
“The band are shit hot and look like they are really enjoying themselves, sound is so full allowing Ray the time and space to be the showman and it seems he is taking his guitar playing seriously with plenty of tuneful riffs.
“Ray mentioned my name from the stage and a few fans came and said hello as they were old fan club members.
“Mike Berry was deaf going home and the three guys who wear the Mungo wigs from the Processed Pea were there and ending up on stage air guitaring during the encore.
“I spoke to Frankie (cello) and Adam (sax) after the gig and they were knocked out with the reception, and could not believe how friendly northern people were.”…Derek Wadeson.
|15th June||Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival, West Rainton, Near; Chester Le-Street – CANCELLED
To read a local News Report – click HERE
|16th June||Blues, Rhythm & Rock Festival, Cleethorpes – more info
To read a local News Report – click HERE
|21st June||H.O.T Schildesche, Bielefeld, Germany|
|28th – 29th June||Gigs with Thomas Stelzer, Dresden, Germany (Ray Dorset only)|
|27th July||Poole Harbour Festival|
|4th August||A New Day Festival, Faversham, Kent – more info|
|21st – 22nd September||Mitchell Creek Blues Festival, Australia (Ray Dorset only) – more info|
|24th October||Half Moon, Putney|
|8th November||Private gig, Oslo, Norway|