“Surprisingly, everywhere I’ve played my music, it’s been well-received. I can’t complain,” says ARIA Award-winning Australian blues purveyor, C.W. Stoneking, whose latest album, Gon’ Boogaloo, is set for release in the States on June 3rd via Stoneking’s own label, King Hokum Records.
Stoneking has mastered his vintage aesthetic unlike any other working artist around these days; one glance at the album’s cover— a photo depicting the bluesman sporting dapper tropical whites and skull-like face paint, while posing with his trusty guitar—and you know you’re about to experience something starkly unique. With song titles like “The Zombie” and “I’m The Jungle Man”, Stoneking hints at darkness behind the tracks on the record; “I was a bit depressed about the world in general,” he explains. “I was inspired by zealots of old who said the world was a bad place to be.”
Don’t get the wrong idea though, Gon’ Boogaloo is 100% fun; with the lazy-day shuffle of the clever “Goin’ Back South”, he sings, in his gruffly beautiful growl, of a car accident that propels him to heaven because he’s a “do-right man”, but feeling that he has unfinished business at home, he declares he’s “goin’ back south”. Album standout “Jungle Swing” is just that—the verses are sultry afro-Caribbean hip-shakers, while the choruses are an engraved invitation to break into the Lindy hop. This writer’s personal favorite, “Good Luck Charm” is a gospel-tinged two-stepper’s delight.
Even the recording process reflects the unique character that is C.W. Stoneking—tracked live in the same room with the band positioned around a microphone, the listener can almost hear crackling vinyl, as if the sound of his electric guitar is slinking through the speakers of a wooden console radio. “I try to put a lot of flavor in it, to layer it up; I just hope it stands up and stays relevant and interesting to those who listen.” Mission accomplished.
Order Gon’ Boogaloo: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gon-boogaloo/id1096504106