Here’s another in our continuing series of reviews from the pages of buhdge. Hot on the heels of Walter Clevenger’s appearance on Pure Pop Radio: In Conversation during the week of February 10, we present a look at Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings’ 2005 album, Full Tilt & Swing.
Walter Clevenger and the Dairy Kings | Full Tilt & Swing | Brewery (2003)
The music of Walter Clevenger is like key lime pie. You may only have it every so often, but when you do, it’s like winning the lottery. Clevenger’s latest effort, recorded, as always, with his mighty excellent Dairy Kings, is the latest winning ticket from an artist who never disappoints.
Clevenger brings the same energy level to his records that he and the Dairy Kings bring to their live shows (don’t miss them if they come to your town!). The California-based artist is invested in every note he writes and sings, and his innate sense of melody and what makes a song work is evident throughout Full Tilt & Swing.
Mixing elements of rock, pop, rockabilly and a little bit of this and that, Clevenger comes out swinging with the rocking “Love Don’t Mean Anything,” a barnstormer of a creation that ranks among the artist’s best thumpers. Similarly, “The Hurricane” and “Radio Sea” rock hard and fast and get the blood pumping (and, if you’re a listener to my Pure Pop radio show, you know how I feel about radio songs!).
The eminently-catchy “Hold On Tight,” buoyed by some typically-great harmony vocals, is one of the standout tracks here, along with the wild and wooly dance hall smash as might be fronted by Buck Owens, “Supermarket Checkout Queen” (you’ll certainly wear out your toes with this one). The lullaby “I’ll Be the One,” pitting a daddy of steel against nighttime monsters, is particularly charming.
Clevenger has come a long way since his initial cassette release of PoPgOeStHeMuSiC back in 1995. He has released four other albums since then, and a bunch of tracks for various tribute CD’s. He is always a good play, a guaranteed good time, and you could do no better than to crank up the victrola…uh, the CD player and get the party started. Now, count one off for us, Walter!
February 16, 2005