The Bellhops | The Great Con Job

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The Great Con Job

by The Bellhops

Hot & Live, Blues, Swing, Jump'n'Jive from Sydney's award winning Bellhops. Recorded in front of a live audience at the Goulburn Conservatorium of Music in February 2010 as part of the Australian Blues Music Festival
Genre: Blues: Jump Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bellhoppin'
4:06 $0.89
2. Have I Got Blues For You
5:17 $0.79
3. The Thrill is Gone
5:08 $0.99
4. Saturday Night
4:11 $0.79
5. Cell Block No. 9
4:59 $0.99
6. C C Rider
5:58 $0.89
7. Middle Arm Boogie
4:26 $0.79
8. Personal Manager
6:39 $0.89
9. Use It or Lose It
2:41 $0.79
10. Who's Been Talking
4:54 $0.89
11. Walking the Dog
4:45 $0.99
12. Little Sister
4:31 $0.99
13. I'm Ready
6:13 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Great Con Job

This album was recorded live in front of an audience of about 60 people in February 2010 at the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium of Music as part of the Australian Blues Music Festival. Recording live in an environment not designed for the purpose is fraught with challenges, difficulties and unforeseen events. Like the thru loop on the desk giving us a distorted signal and causing havoc with our foldback sound just to name 1 among a plethora of such happenings. Apart from this there are the great visions of hindsight. In the mixdown process we kept finding out things we should have done on the day that would have made the mixdown process easier. Well. You live and learn and we have learnt that doing a live recording is not as easy as we first envisaged. So don't expect any more live recordings from us in the foreseeable future. Anyway, given all that, we are very pleased with the end result, a good representation of the Bellhops live sound and an album we can be proud to put our names to.

The Reviews
Rhythms Magazine - August 2011 Edition:

There's been a lot of water under the bridge since The Bellhops' previous release No Reservations but this CD, recorded live at Goulburn, NSW in 2010, has been worth the wait.
A multi award-winning six-piece Sydney outfit, The Bellhops are prime exponents of '40s era jump/swing, '50s rock'n'roll, and '60s blues and R&B, as this album attests. And what is patently obvious is how well these cats know there stuff, seamlessly blending original songs with their own arrangements of classics by BB King, The Robins, Albert King, Ma Rainey, Howling Wolf, Rufus Thomas and Elvis Presley.
Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ian Dittman sings in a smooth, effortless style backed by the potent lead and slide guitar prowess of John Russell, the deep grooves of bass player Mark Roulston and drummer Steve Lovarini, and the low register bursts of their two-part reed section the Brassholes. The warm, well balanced soundscape is peppered with light and shade dynamics, sturdy harmonies and scorching solos from Russell, tenor sax player Stephen O'Connell and baritone saxophonist Ed Schots.

Gary deWall - Blues Times - A publication of The Sydney Blues Society:

I go to the letterbox and there's a CD from The Bellhops. Beauty, they have finally released their new studio album, Do Not Disturb, which I named, and this is the copy I won (complete with signatures and DNA samples from the band if I remember the description of the prize correctly). Nope! It's a new live album recorded live (of course) at the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, and cleverly titled The Great Con Job. Well, their trademark sense of humour is intact.
In search of elusive gigs, The Bellhops contracted first to the 3 piece Hellboppers, then to a vehicle for Ian Dittman's songs called The Bottle Rocket Combo, but here they are back in all their 6 piece glory, and it's great to hear them again. Ian Dittman's great vocals and guitar, John Russell's slashing slide, the rock solid engine room of Mark Roulston (bass) and Steve"Wrongway" Lovarini (drums), and of course the duelling saxes of Stephen O'Connell (tenor) and Ed Schots (Baritone). Lineups don't get much better than this.
Five of the tracks here have been on their earlier albums but certainly bear repeating. The other 8 tracks
are covers from their live repertoire and what a great bunch of songs they are. Favourites like Thrill is gone, Personal manager, CC Rider, Who's been talkin', Walking the dog and I'm ready all allow the guys to strut their collective stuff. And of course there's theJeff Cripps number, Saturday Night, which I reckon is a modern rock 'n' roll classic. There's lots of great guitar, including lashings of JR's slide, and heaps of big honking brass, all pulled together by Ian's fine vocals and carried along by Mark & Steve's interesting and entertaining back line.
This is a typically very enjoyable Bellhops album and an essential addition to your Bellhops CD collection. If you haven't got one, start it with this CD.
As for Do Not Disturb, I guess the financial realities of promoting a 6 piece band and selling CDs in today's music scene mean we probably won't see it for a while. Doesn't matter - we can still enjoy Room Service, No Reservations, and The Great Con Job.



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