An illustration inside the CD package of “Rollin’ Til Dawn!” reads: “Big Daddy Caleb & the Chargers: Blues, Soul & Rock ‘n’ Roll.”
And the disc, the second from the Lincoln band fronted by Caleb “Big Daddy” Whisenhunt delivers what the illustration promises with great flair and feel — and a killer selection of cover songs.
Moving from the Texas shuffle of Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson’s “Let Me In” to Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll classic “Long Tall Sally” — punctuated by Whisenhunt’s saxophone, a kickback to when the horn was the lead rock instrument — to the easy stroll of Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday,” the record catches every groove and the band sounds great playing it.
With Whisenhunt delivering the vocals in his clipped, biting style, the Chargers bring the instruments to just the right places, like Jeremiah Weir filling up “Good Time Daddy” with his soulful piano and organ.
“Rollin’ Til Dawn!” also showcases some of the top local players — guitarists Benjamin Kushner (Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal, The Mezcal Brothers), Ben Curran (who slays on Fenton Robinson’s blues “You Don’t Know What Love Is”) and Shawn "Lil Slim" Holt, who leads a three-guitar attack with Curran and the Chargers’ Matt “Guitar” Richardson on the closing “I Can Tell,” the Bo Diddley number that, appropriately shuffles down the line between blues and rock ‘n’ roll.
Cut at sessions in February, April and June of last year at Weir’s Studio Blue Analog Recording, the recordings are a live as live can get, captured in a single take with minimal overdubs.
That means that, minus the guests, “Rollin’ Til Dawn!” captures what Big Daddy Caleb & the Chargers will bring to the third night of Lincoln Exposed — the four-day festival featuring 100 Lincoln bands that continues Friday and Saturday at the Zoo, Duffy’s Tavern, Bodega’s Alley and 1867 Bar.
Big Daddy Caleb and the Chargers will play the Zoo Bar at 7 p.m. Friday. Check ‘em out and pick up a copy of their smokin’ CD.