Wang Dang is Billy Courtman (National Resonator guitars, acoustic guitars, vocals) and Jeff Ganz (8-string electric basses, piccolo bass, vocals). Billy and Jeff have earned eclectic resumes, having worked with varied performers such as Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Roy Buchanan, Chuck Berry, Edgar Winter and Gerry Mulligan. Their music features unique interpretations of vocal and instrumental material from a broad range of artists and musical styles.
"Astounding musicianship; your doodles are spectacular!" was the reaction from Will Lee, the highly respected bassist from "The Late Show with David Letterman". Expressions such as "fun", "innovative" and "blew me away!" have also been used to describe Wang Dang's live performances and their debut CD, "Doodles, Volume One".
Not limited by any pigeon-holing with regard to repertoire, the CD gets down to business with the Sonny Rollins jazz standard "Doxy".
An energetic workout for the boys on "Mercury Blues" is next, with Billy on lead vocals.
"Soul Serenade", long associated with King Curtis, features a lyrical performance by Billy on National Baritone guitar.
The T. Rex rock anthem "Bang A Gong" (Get It On) has Jeff doing lead vocals, backed by a spirited children's chorus that features Adam Boyko and Jesse Courtman.
An innovative rendition of Jimmy Page's classic acoustic composition "White Summer" showcases Jeff on solo piccolo bass.
Billy's passionate guitar and vocal work highlight the next track, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", the Bob Dylan chestnut.
This version of Booker T. and the M.G.'s "Time Is Tight" proves that drums are not always needed to cop a powerful R&B groove.
The gutsy "Gin Soaked Boy" by Tom Waits has Jeff on 5-string upright bass and lead vocals, with Billy playing Dobro.
A daring rendering of the fusion masterpiece "Chameleon" follows, reminding the listener of Wang Dang's courage to try anything in virtually any musical style.
"Monkey Around" is Delbert McClinton's roadhouse rocker that seems to hook kids as well as grownups. Jeff is on lead vocals.
The CD concludes with a beautiful solo instrumental performance by Billy of "Resta Cum Me", a ballad made famous by the Italian vocal legend Domenico Modugno.
Wang Dang has come up with a musically intriguing concept, and delivers a charismatic CD that has something for everyone.