As sweet as their name may sound: The Sugarhills from Cologne are anything but the good singer-songwriter duo from next door. Singer Peggy Sugarhill and singer and guitarist Till Kersting - also a couple in private life - deliver a completely unsugared, but rebelliously celebrated mixture of old Rhythm and Blues, New Rockabilly and Roots Rock. Unplugged, of course, in the spirit of the musical tradition of the fifties and sixties. The energetic duo brings this tradition to life in a way that is as powerful as it is contemporary.
This is ensured by the massive acoustic guitar sound, chased through tape delay and Fender amplifiers, as well as the dynamics that prevail between the two musicians, who have already been successful as solo artists for many years. A dynamic that has only one goal: To fill people with the impetuous, the timeless spirit of rock 'n' roll. And for this, rudimentary means are completely sufficient for the self-proclaimed "Rampensäuen". Looking at the current music scene, The Sugarhills build a bridge between tradition and modernity - and thus expose the pretense of authenticity as a musical dead end with a wink. The stubborn duo doesn't even turn into a dead end. Proof of this is their self-titled debut disc, recorded completely analog with vintage mics and tape machine. Originally arranged cover songs like Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and "Rock 'n' Roll Queen" by The Subways meet equally varied original compositions. For example, the fluffy swinging rockabilly number "She Don't Love You," enriched with flamenco flair. The sensitive country ballad "Why", however, refined with slide guitar and two-part harmony vocals, is comfort turned into sound.
It is the calming pole on this unbridled, heartfelt journey through the multi-layered, party-compatible cosmos of a duo that prefers to cross borders instead of sacrificing sparkling ideas to dusty ideals. Sugarhill and Kersting have already proven with various other projects that they are not only musicians who enjoy experimenting, but also extremely active. Peggy Sugarhill, for example, is active in two new rockabilly formations - Peggy Sugarhill and the Eldorado Tigerettes and Rockemarieche - and gave the rockabilly scene new impetus with her debut album, released in 2011 and recorded together with Dick Brave's Backbeats. Such modern arrangements and wonderfully weird sounds were rather rarely heard exceptions until then.
Fender endorser Till Kersting, on the other hand, has released two solo albums as a singer and guitarist so far, which earned him the reputation as a "gift for the guitar scene" (Guitar Magazine). This reputation has also been heard by Stefanie Heinzmann and Tom Beck, who regularly invite Kersting to join them on stage for their gigs. Sugarhill and Kersting live up to their reputation as musical free thinkers of the scene also as a duo: beyond entrenched pigeonholes, music making is more uninhibited. Anyone who appreciates the sound of the fifties and sixties and is not afraid of a good portion of pop appeal is in good hands with The Sugarhills.
Article properties: The Sugarhills: The Sugarhills (LP, 10inch & CD)