The last time I saw the Liquor Kings, they were the Stoolies. The whole night made me feel like a teenager listening to the band my friends started in their basement. Back in reality, I’m over forty and so are they. Regardless, it was adolescent enthusiasm with egoless adult ability. I had a great time, bordering on wild abandon. So when the Stoolies became the Liquor Kings, I knew I had to have a taste of their latest brew. I got that opportunity March 2 at LanaLou’s as the Liquor Kings were promoting their debut CD, 100 proof Rock’n’Roll.
The Liquor Kings are fronted by Eddy Dutchman, an affable bloke crowned in shock-white wearing no-nonsense t-shirt and jeans with the vocal quality of a whiskey-worn Alice Cooper. His band mates include Terry Russell on drums, Stephen Graf and Mike Laviolette on guitar and Edward Hurrell on bass. As a unit, the Liquor Kings are tight. Terry creates the rhythmic playground with the accuracy of an architect while Edward expertly lays down the color and elevation to Terry’s established landscape. Stephen and Mike play point and counterpoint, painting in the details with surgeon precision and finally,
Eddy gives the melody a throaty purpose with lyrics that can be memorized and hollered back by the audience before the song is over. The result is pure party – unadulterated rock for the masses performed by guys, albeit fashionable, who look like they walked in off the street and stepped on stage.
LanaLou’s is a smallish eastside venue that is built on the architectural elements of a strip-mall restaurant but the personal touches of design, the bar, the incredibly friendly service and the amazing food make it something entirely special. Add the fact that it can support live music and you have a rare gem of entertainment. This intimate space was perfect for the Liquor Kings who prefer friendship and community to the ridiculous trappings of fame. They proceeded to dazzle all who attended with songs like Not Quite Right, Give the Devil His Due and Satan, Bacon and Beer. The Liquor Kings performance was sixties garage rock at its best, before the personality and the pomp that came with the co-opting of rock’n’roll. It was fresh and uncomplicated with one main focus – fun. If you enjoy musicianship that doesn’t take itself too seriously and follows the infectious lines of early Stones and the Kinks, you’ll love the Liquor Kings. Check out their website, look for their CD and get your ass out to a show, you won’t be disappointed.