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Phases and Stages

Record Reviews

Reviewed by Jerry Renshaw, November 23, 2001, Music

The Converters

You Got 'Em! (Voodoo Pie)

Open the sleeve to this CD and you'll see the all-capital exhortation, "Play This Album Loud," in 24-point type. You should pay heed. There's no Stevie Ray manques here with clanging Stratocasters doing their mannered take on the blues; instead, there's Randall Stockton doing some R&B shouting and blowing a red-hot harp throughout. As the sleeve says, everything on this CD is loud, blustery, and raw, with folks like Matt Giles on guitar, Toni Price on vocals, and Earl Poole Ball on piano lending a hand. They tear through versions of Willie Dixon's "Just Like I Treat You," Johnny Watson's "Gangster of Love," and Joe Hill Louis' "She May Be Yours," with Stockton bellowing his vocals through what sounds like a police radio and stabbing that harp in right on cue. Better still, the Converters' originals are almost as good their choice of covers; check out the Jimmy Reed-ish "Boomerang," or drummer Kevin Wright's "Why I Lover." They put the brakes on a bit for the ballady "Everybody Needs Somebody," but otherwise, they tear into their songs with the ferocity of a starving man getting after it with a cheeseburger. If there's any band who the Converters' stuff can be compared to, it would be the earliest Blasters releases, and that ain't faint praise. Do like the album says; the next party you have (or go to), sneak over to the stereo, put this in, and hit the volume. This shit rocks.

*** .5

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