with Mick Green (and Johnny Spence)
Goofin' Records GRCD 6139 "Cutthroat And Dangerous"
Sometimes the impossible happens! The earth turns out to be flat after all (not that I haven't said that before)! Or Doctor's Order are recording with Mick Green (and Johnny Spence) and releasing a CD (of which I haven't mentioned a word). I'm sure, had anyone asked the band a couple of years ago, wether they'd be recording with Mick Green one day, they wouldn't have laughed! They'd probably been staring at you, thinking, here's one who's lost all his marbles! The possibility for this to happen was less than winning the jackpot in nowadays Euromillions. A lot less! We're writing 2007 and nothing is as it was before.
Mick Green! THE MICK GREEN! Just think about it! In my little world, that does mean a ton! Mick Green who is part of the universe for every self respecting Dr. Feelgood/Wilko Johnson fan. Mick Green, who, yours truly can safely say, has been my guitar hero before I even heard of something like Dr. Feelgood in about 1974/1975. I completely dug Johnny Kidd & The Pirates and I do remember the distinctive style of guitar playing. Even at this tender age, I realised, there was something going on (and to put everything in perspective, I didn't make the connection later to Wilko Johnson until I had been told). The very Mick Green on an album with Doctor's Order. I think I'm kicking myself into the shins, just to see wether I'm dreaming or not.
The thing is, I do know the music of Doctor's Order by now, since I've been following their recording career since the very first CD was released. One interesting fact is the diversity of the band throughout their recording career up to now. Of course, the music is within the narrow confines of Rock'n'Roll, Rhythm'n'Blues and the likes. But it's what you do with it that counts. And for every rock buff at heart, Doctor's Order deliver the goods. In a way, this is similar to Dr. Feelgood. I never pretended that they are out to save the world. This is about having a good time, getting you all geared up and enjoying life. There's no problem with that. So, as usual, I was very keen to hear the new release. Especially with the Mick Green/Johnny Spence involvement.
First a word about sound. When I put the CD into the player and the first (and I mean the first) chords played, I thought, "well, if this is not the Doctor's Order sound!". It does have a certain draft towards the lower register again, but that just seem to be the way the band likes their sound. I think, that was what originally caught my ear (besides the excellent songs, of course), a certain rawness and yet sophistication at the same time. In short, soundwise, this is what you've come here for!
I'm being forgiven, that my main interest in this special case is on the two guitar players. Grande-Archie Hämäläinen vs. Mick Green, which turned out to be a with and not a versus. I've no doubt whatsoever, that Mr. Hämäläinen can take it up with the best. I think I've succeeded in holding the two guitars apart. Most of the time anyway! Grande-Archie Hämäläinen is quite capable of playing the guitar Mick Green style and Mr. Green is no beginner either! So, it might have been, that styles were actually switched. I can't say. Going by their trademark sound however, you can pinpoint each one out. By inviting an outside guitarist in, there's the danger of the original axeman falling flat on his face (musically speaking). This is not the case here. There's no question, the Mick Green stamp is all over the record. But it's more like Mick Green adapted to Doctor's Order than the other way round.
1. Domino (Sam
The Band calls this Rock'n'Roll (I can hear that), Rhythm'n'Blues (dito.), Rockabilly (yes) with even a slight touch of psychedelia (?) and surf kind of thing (yes, about two chords if I'm not mistaken). And since I'm at the tracklisting now, what's a "beast on six feet"? I do know of the four legged beast, but one on six feet? Answers on a postcard please! Johnny Spence is heard on "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" while Teddy Bear Nättilä (who sounds like a finnish bear who's being chased out of his winter sleep) does vocal duties on tracks one to four. "Baby Elephant Walk" is an instrumental. I can't say for sure, but track # 5 is very much lighter than the usual way Doctor's Order are playing this. I do think, that this might have been the reason Johnny Spence was asked to do the vocals on this song. Although Doctor's Order have it in their regular live repertoire, I think it's more of a Pirates standard than the other way round.
The drumming is as always. Up to scratch. Dirty-Harry Tuominen lays the foundations on which all participants can show off. Of course, sometimes the drummer's job is the most ungrateful one there is. Sometimes I'm trying to listen to the drums (as opposed to the whole range of the recording) just to see what Mr. Tuominen is doing. Naturally enough, his playing is first rate.
The album comprises of only six tracks. In about 16 minutes you're through with it and can start all over again. The point is, do you want a quarter hour + of high octane Rock'n'Roll to ignite your soul? Then, this here is for you! The playing time is a minor complaint to what you get. Not a boring second on this release. A CD that will be playing in repeat mode until someone pulls the plug at your place (the cat propably, because no human being would do so). The CD will be released on Goofin' Records (GRCD 6139) on February 11, 2007. No excuse, if your dealer hasn't got it, ask him to order the album. Or you can get it directly from the band's own website. Or there might even be a possibility to order right through Goofin' Records themselves (check their website, I think they do mailorder).
Now that the CD has
been playing for the umpteenth time, in heavy rotation in the truest sense
of the word, I think it's time to say thank you to Mick Green and Johnny
Spence (and of course to Doctor's Order) for such an excellent addition
to both discographies. This is one to enjoy for years to come. And to Doctor's
Order: When the dust has settled over this release, where do you want to
go from here? Everything else seems to be downhill. Except ... how about
getting Wilko Johnson to play on your next release? Impossible? No, you
just showed us that this word doesn't exist in your vocabulary. Someone
said once "let's be realistic and demand the impossible".
February 10, 2007
CD costs EURO 15.00 for each CD (includes postage)