The Atomic Fireballs | Birth of the Swerve

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Blues: Detroit Blues Reggae: Ska Moods: Mood: Party Music
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Birth of the Swerve

by The Atomic Fireballs

This is The Atomic Fireballs indy release, before signing with Atlantic Records. Many fans think it sounds better than the overly slick production of "Torch This Place". The Fireballs have been described as Detroit Style Jump and Horn Fueled Punk.
Genre: Blues: Detroit Blues
Release Date: 

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artist name
1. Man With The Hex
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3:15 album only
2. Spanish Fly
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3:29 album only
3. Mata Hari
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3:15 album only
4. Spider Baby
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3:50 album only
5. Caviar & Chitlins
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2:51 album only
6. Starve A Fever
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3:21 album only
7. Catfish Ball
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4:40 album only
8. Devil Is Dancing
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3:18 album only
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Album Notes
Frontman John Bunkley and trumpeter James Bostek formed The Atomic Fireballs in Detroit in 1996. There wasn't much of a swing craze at the time, nevertheless they set out to take the jump blues of the 1940s and bring it up to date with a more contemporary element.

Artists such as Wynonie Harris and Louis Jordan defined the genre's golden age. Unlike other "neo swing" groups (including the Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Royal Crown Revue, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra), The Atomic Fireballs brought something more to their style of jump blues, namely onstage energy and the musical influences of ska and punk.

Some modern swing fans say The Atomic Fireballs weren't really "swing" at all, claiming that the group played too fast for them to Lindy Hop. But they never intended to fit into the same category as the other swing revivalists, "We were just trying to put a roots-rock band together, so we always approached it with a harder edge," Bunkley explained.

They performed as part of the Vans Warped Tour, a concert series featuring bands playing a range of music from punk to hip-hop. The Atomic Fireballs felt right at home amid the skateboarders and punk kids. "Those people gave us our shakes, man. They looked at us in the first couple songs and then their heads started bobbing. By the end they asked for more," Bunkley recalled.

After proving that the Atomic Fireballs could appeal to a variety of audiences rather than exclusively to swing enthusiasts, the band received several offers from major label record companies. Signing with Lava/Atlantic, the band worked with producer Bruce Fairbairn to release the twelve-track album "Torch This Place" in the late spring of 1999.

Personnel: John Bunkley-vocals, James Bostek-trumpet, Tony Buccilli-trombone, Eric Schabo-tenor sax, Duke Kingins-guitar, Randy Sly-piano, Shawn Scaggs-double bass, Geoff Kinde-tubs.


to write a review

Sean Bir

Good Fun but Addictive
This is fun stuff. Its a modern twist on swing, but with a voice that's a holdback to the old Louis Armstrong days....His voice has a wonderful growl to it!
Warning...Chitlins and Caviar is a silly earworm that is almost as bas as "its a small world".
I like their stuff. RCR may be more of my taste, but these guys are definately fun and worth picking up for the swing collection. They're a notch above a lot of the late 90's swing bands in that they have a more authentic feel.....almost big bandish (although they're not that big)