MUNGO JERRY - Adults Only (2004) & Cool Jesus (2011)
Can there actually be anyone who doesn't know or recognise the song In The Summertime? I doubt it, as thanks to the regular use of the song on TV commercials In The Summertime is one of those instantly recognisable songs. That hit in 1970 was the start of a major career for the band Mungo Jerry who went on to have a number of further hits throughout the seventies and while founder member and leader of Mungo Jerry, Ray Dorset acknowledges his illustrious past, like many artists he has moved on and produced a fine and respected body of work that in addition to the many Mungo Jerry releases includes recording an album with Fleetwood Mac legend Peter Green and Vincent Crane (Katmandu) and writing songs for the likes of Elvis Presley, Dr. Feelgood, Bob Dylan, Elton John and many others. In the early days of gigging as a band before they were called Mungo Jerry, Ray played in the same London pubs as bands like the Rolling Stones and in the early days as Mungo Jerry musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa could be found in their audience. Over thirty five years on from the bands emergence things have almost come round full circle with Mungo Jerry's latest release Adults Only. The band is still led by Ray Dorset [also known as Mungo Jerry hence the aka title] and the band are still in high demand for live concerts more recent proof being the inclusion of Ray Dorset on the Legends Of R&B tour. Ray's band on that particular tour included musicians with the highest credentials and included a rhythm section that comprised bassist Colin Hodgkinson (Back Door, Alexis Korner, Whitesnake) and drummer Colin Allen (John Mayall, Stone The Crows, Focus). Mungo Jerry will support the release of Adults Only with a world tour that takes in America, South Africa and Australia and beyond into 2005 back into America.
Ray Dorset's present backing band (of Martin, Luederwaldt, Troike) creates faithfully here the good time music & sounds that Mungo Jerry first came out with in the early 70s. The recordings were made under live studio conditions which produces a beautiful vibe. There were a couple of the pure skiffle type offerings that I was not so keen on, but otherwise there are many excellent pieces here. There's nothing particularly new about it, but there is enough variety from jug band to rock'n'roll to 50s doo-wop to pure pop to rock to folk protest to skiffle, plus with an overall excellent performance like this, manages to straddle all age groups & countries. Certainly you can imagine this sounding forth from a German beer festival along with the sounds of thumping beer glasses. Less blues orientated than Mungo's previous album from 2003, & though there is still that, here it is really back to pure Mungo (Dorset's guitar playing & vocals seem ageless) & whose more purist fans should surely love.