|The lines blur between the distinctions of blues, New Orleans R&B, early rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and jump blues. But for the Jersey Swamp Cats they all mount to high energy good clean fun. The quartet from Orange, New Jersey perform creative, swampy renditions of classics by Fats Domino, Albert Collins, Professor Longhair, Louis Prima, and Albert King along with four new originals on their debut album “Go Cat Go!” The duel leads of Gerry Gladston on piano and Don Leich on guitar drive the sound while the tight rhythm section of drummer Chris Reardon and Larry Ghiorsi on bass hold it all together. The sessions where recorded at Mozart Studio in Little Falls, New Jersey, who captured the bands lively retro sound to perfection.
What better way to get the party started than dance floor favorite ‘Jump, Jive And Wail.’ The Cats open the album by nailing the Louis Prima classic and adding some Jersey flair. The first original song of the album, ‘Cupcake!,’ is a Chicago Blues romp about a “crazy little gal,” who gives as much as she gets. The driving track featuring swinging guitar and hep vocals from Leich, also made it onto the Bongo Boy Records upcoming compilation “Backroom Blues Vol. 8.” ‘Blue Monday’ follows as a loving tribute to Fats Domino, with Leich adding some bluesy swagger to the vocal and the rhythm section beefing up the groove. ‘I Don’t Mind’ transports us to New Orleans with an easy-going groove and melody that conjure echoes of Allen Toussaint and Dr. John. Special guest horn players Anthony Salimbene Jr., of Crescent City Maulers, on saxophone, and Patrick Dudasik on trumpet join the Cats on this joyful trip to the Big Easy.
The Albert Collins staple, ‘Too Tired,’ is delivered on a muscular flat tire shuffle with ripping guitar leads. Piano man Gladston calls for everyone to swing, sway and ‘Dance All Night’ on the super smooth jazzy blues number and bassist Larry Ghiorsi delivers convincing Cajun lead vocals on the bayou-fueled revival of the traditional ‘Tootie Ma Is A Big Fine Thing,’ with second line drumming by Chris Reardon and spicy horn trade offs cooking up an irresistible gumbo. The Albert King rhumba ‘I Get Evil’ is often mistakenly called ‘Don’t You Lie To Me,’ as that infectious hook is repeated throughout and Gladston delivers the line with fire, leading the Cats through a spot cover of the blues standard from 1962. Leich joins Gladston on twin turbo vocals for ‘Shiny Gray Corvette,’ closing the set with a Hot Rod rock ‘n’ roll anthem zooming down the highway over a hundred miles an hour.
The Jersey Swamp Cats serve up a genuine dish of All-American good time tunes on this fine debut.
Rick J Bowen
The Jersey Swamp Cats are a piano and guitar driven band entertaining crowds in North Jersey and beyond with their own brand of jump blues and vintage rock ’n’ roll. The Cats perform creative renditions of classics by favorites like Louis Prima, T-Bone Walker, Fats Domino, Albert King, Freddie King, Professor Longhair, and others, as well as originals inspired by them.
Co-founder Gerry Gladston (vocals and piano) has been playing festivals since the 1990’s, including Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest, River Blues Festival in Philadelphia, Chuck Wentworth’s Rhythm & Roots Festival in Rhode Island, and more. Some of Gerry’s fondest memories include sharing the stage with Earl King, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Booker T. & the MG’s and more at the Lonestar Roadhouse in NYC.
In the early 90’s, co-founder Don Leich (guitar, vocals) played second guitar for Rhett Tyler and Early Warning and is a veteran of the all-night blues shows at Dan Lynch’s in NYC, with Kid Java. Since then, Don has done hard time at the best of the best in NJ/NY including the legendary Stanhope House, Mexicali Blues, the Turning Point and others, mostly as lead guitarist with Big Mike & the Perpetrators.
Gerry and Don founded their new band in 2016 with Chris Reardon (drums, backing vocals), and Larry Ghiorsi (bass, backing vocals), and can be found prowling the best venues in the NY/NJ region…as The Jersey Swamp Cats!