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Extra Sauce

The Riptones

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Album Review

Splitting the difference between old-school country and high-attitude rockabilly, the Riptones work up a healthy twang on Extra Sauce, their first nationally distributed album (after a pair of hard-to-find self-released sets). While at times it sounds as if the band isn't sure just how hard they want to rock, guitarist Andon T. Davis and lead singer/second axeman Jeb Bonansinga know how to make their six-strings work together as a unit, while bassist Earl Carter and drummer Tom Harmon set 'em up nicely whether in third gear or fifth. And Jeb Bonansinga's songwriting really sets this band apart; the straight-ahead honesty of his more C&W-oriented tunes ("How Mean You Really Are," " "The Meanest Man in the World") suggest he could have a solid career as a Nashville tunesmith, and even when he's singing about such perennial roots rock themes as spicy food and equally spicy women, there's a light and un-self-conscious tone to his lyrics which is welcome. (And thankfully, "Motorcycle Man" doesn't celebrate biker culture so much as it casts a bemused glance at a lawyer playing hog rider on weekends.) Not quite perfect, but Extra Sauce shows the Riptones were a strong band with good ideas they would work out on future releases.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Melding rockabilly, retro-country, and blues styles into a rollicking dance-friendly cocktail, the Riptones are one of the more traditionally oriented bands on Chicago's wild-and-wooly alt-country scene. Led by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Jeb Bonansinga, the band formed in 1990, with Bonansinga joined by his brother Tod Bonansinga on vocals and rub board, Earl Carter on bass, Andon T. Davis on guitar, and Tom Harmon on drums. After several years of steady gigging around Chicago and building...
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Extra Sauce, The Riptones
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