Revue from electricblues.com
Tommy Cougar hails from Stockholm, Sweden. He has fronted many bands over the years, and has played many different styles of blues. His various bands have focus on styles including Hendrix, Trower, SRV, Albert Collin's and SRV. Unfortunately, CDs of his early efforts, most notably his SRV tribute band T.C. & the Stingrays, are no longer available. Too bad, because the audio samples available at Tommy's website sound pretty good.
But, what is available is Juke Joint Fever, The theme for this CD is quite a departure from the styles previously mentioned. This disc is entirely in a style very reminiscent of Hound Dog Taylor. To achive a truly authentic sound, the band recorded with old, lo-fi equipment. The desired result was achived with great success. Fans of Hound Dog Taylor's rough, distorted, slide guitar and harsh vocals will defintely be able to relate to this CD.
Many songs are based on the shuffle blues style, ranging from slow blues to up tempo "houserockin' music", and driven by the crunching pulse of Tommy's rhythm playing. Lead breaks are nasty, slashing slide affairs, or as noted on the CD Jacket, "rough and dangerous slide guitar". Very well done and very much in keeping with the intended feel of the music. Tommy has certainly done his homework on early style slide guitar. Rounding out the package, vocals also have the proper sound.... heavy on the reverb or echo, or whatever effect gives that "singing in a tunnel" sound.
Juke Joint Fever is very consistant, and true to it's focus throughout. As the name implies, this is old-fashioned, good time blues. While intended to emulate a particular style, and you'll swear you've heard many of these songs before, all of the songs are Tommy Cougar originals. This is an interesting and entertaining CD, and one which I have enjoyed listening to many times.
Revue from Bluesfreepress.org
Fans of real Juke Joint Blues get themselves a jewel with this album. Tommy Cougar, originally from Stockholm, Sweden, was inspired by the sound of Hound Dog Taylor, T-Model Ford & Jerry McCain's kitchen recordings & the result is incredible. Starting with the opening track, "Shake It" you wonder where you've heard this style before, of course, from the artists who inspired this recording. A serious rhythm section consisting of Michael Johnson, drums & Mats Hammarlöf, bass, guide Tommy on his rough, sharp slide guitar lines. "Have Some Fun" is one of the song titles & they follow this instruction wholeheartedly which shines through in the recording. The instrumental offerings, "I Don't Know" & "Dog Bone" are real gems & Tommy can cut it vocally too, "Get My Heart Back Together" & "Devil Blues" are Blues in the real sense of the word. My admiration increases by reading that Tommy wrote all the songs himself, no covers. I already knew that some white Blues artists can play real juke joint Blues & the proof has been reaffirmed by Tommy Cougar, if you don't believe me then get a copy of "Juke Joint Fever" & see for yourself. Samples & full downloads can be found at their website & on MP3.com. Even as I write I am informed by Tommy Cougar that this project has ended & they are working on a new album Texas Blues style & plan to release it under the name Tommy Cougar & The Stingrays this coming autumn.
Also Check out http://www.myspace.com/tommycougar