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Jamie Oldaker

Mad Dogs & Okies – 2005 (Concord)

Reviewed by Greg Milliken

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CDs by Jamie Oldaker

Drummer Jamie Oldaker's CD is an adjunct to Oldaker's film about Oklahoma's musical heritage. Oldaker has been providing the backbeat for Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, The Tractors and dozens of others over the past 30 years. The man obviously has credentials, and if "Mad Dogs and Okies" is any indication, great connections and one hell of an ear.

This is a big steaming bowl of Americana stew; swampy blues, western swingand country rock, flavored by artists both well-known and obscure. The old pros, among them Clapton ("Positively"), Ray Benson ("Time To Boogie"), Vince Gill ("Wait Til Your Daddy Gets Home") and Bonnie Bramlett ("Make Your Move"), deliver polished, enthusiastic performances. The album's real treat, however, is the lesser-known names who more than hold their own. Willis Alan Ramsey's slide work on "Sympathy For A Train," Zadig and Marcella's smooth "Promises" and the Jimmy Reed-esque "Shotgun Shack" by Wiley Hunt are among the standouts.

Move over Memphis - here comes Oklahoma? Maybe not quite yet. But with this, Oldaker makes a strong case for the Sooner state.