No-frills rock 'n' roll
Reviewed November 2009
Let's Get Lit
By the Mojo Gurus
Linus Entertainmente: 2009
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends viewing its Amazon.com entry.
Twenty-three years ago, the Georgia Satellites rode a catchy hit single to a brief career that proved that a good bar band can make it commercially in rock and roll. Many bands have tried since then to duplicate the feat, and few have managed. That has not held back the Mojo Gurus, who have put out five discs, including the latest, "Let's Get Lit."
This Florida quartet produces Southern rock, but with no grand aspirations of art beyond a Satellites-level of good time, hell-raising party music. The themes are the same, nothing fancy, and the band can rock. The results are mixed, since the Gurus' singer/songwriter Kevin Steele tries hard but can't match the Satellites' Dan Baird either as the nasty-sounding, hard-drinking patron saint or musical bard.
After a title tune that is little more than a crowd sing-along, "I Can't Stand to Hear That Song Again" announces that the Gurus are not reluctant to play a song that sounds like a tribute to (or filler cut from) the Satellites' excellent 1989 release "In the Land of Salvation and Sin," as the muddy mix, pounding keyboards and vocal sound totally familiar. "Bucket O' Blood" successfully reworks the Chuck Berry formula, using the basic guitar/bass/drums/harp lineup. "Better of the Bottle" is a drinker's lament to a country-swing arrangement, again with sloppy production that buries the fiddle and guitars. "(Just A) Couple of Kicks" is one of several 12-bar rockers that the band handles smoothly, though guitarist Doc Lovett is markedly restrained throughout given the material a few fiery licks would have added an edge.
"Let's Get Lit" is workmanlike, hard-rocking music. It will not win points for originality or style, but doesn't try for these. Sometimes it's just about playing rock and roll.
Review by Frank Kocher, a longtime San Diego resident, musician, music collector and frequent contributor to The San Diego Troubadour.