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King Kerosene

Just Warmin' Up – 1999 (Kero-Scene)

Reviewed by Jon Johnson

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CDs by King Kerosene

An unusual approach to rockabilly from this New Jersey threesome, owing at least as much in sound to inspired bar and pub rock bands like NRBQ and Rockpile as it does to the likes of Elvis, the Burnettes and Carl Perkins.

Led by guitarist/vocalist Scott Murphy and backed up by upright bassist Anthony Saporito and drummer Mike Saporito, King Kerosene turns its back on the prevailing trend of authenticity in rockabilly circles and instead embraces a more modern concept of song craftsmanship, with songs like "Another Drink," "Five More Minutes," and "Veronica" reminding the listener as much of NRBQ as anything else. That's not to say that the group completely ignores its rockabilly roots. "Right to Know" neatly evokes Eddie Cochran and "Fifteen Seconds" and "Stay With Me" are faster numbers that almost-but-not-quite tread on the psychobilly side of the tracks.

"Just Warmin' Up" probably won't be a favorite of fans of the current wave of traditional-sounding rockabilly/hillbilly acts, but it's nice to know that the spirit of pub rock is still alive and kicking in a bar somewhere. (214 Stonehouse Road, Glen Ridge, NHJ 07028 or E-Mail: scotabilly@aol.com)