Dark Days Passing

CD Cover The Bughouse Five
East Side Records

Review by Stuart Derdeyn

38-second excerpt from "Tell Me Mama" (297 Kb .au file)

Far from a mere rockabilly band, Vancouver's Bughouse Five stretch out in all directions on their first CD. Guitarist Russel Schindel's Peter Green-like slinky blues guitar, clipped country staccatos and pure pop strumming are excellent throughout, and he particularly shines on the opening cut "Move." Not that the rest of the band is to be ignored -- far from it. Upright bassist Ron Hayward is known all over town for his hard-hitting Railway Club jam sessions and he smokes here as ever; drummer Taylor Little has played with almost everyone of note in town, for good reason; and singer Butch Murphy holds down the ruckus with as soulful a set of pipes as Eddie Cochran.

This band kicks up some serious fun and furious frenetic boppin' on cuts like "Really Ugly," and covers like the classic "Tell Me Mama" and Dave Alvin's "I Don't Want To." Or they play sensitive country blues numbers, like Hayward's great "601 South Delta Blues." If they're chasing down a single it would be hard to best Schindel's "Old Tom Mullen," one of those catchy folk ballad rockers that has a timeless quality about it.

It's a hard road to travel down these days, being a rockabilly-influenced country rock band in the nineties, but genuine emotion should stand for something, and the Bughouse Five have plenty.

Artist Contact Info: 2076 East Third Avenue, Vancouver, B.C., V5N 1H7

First published in Drop-D Magazine on October 5, 1996

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