D.D. Verni and the Cadillac Band’s Let’s Rattle

By Brian Rock

Heavy metal bassist/songwriter D.D. Verni (of the band Overkill) is sure to rattle some cages with the release of his first swing album, Let’s Rattle. With the assistance of his backing unit, The Cadillac Band, Verni captures the joy and energy of Swing, with a little boost of high-octane Rock and Roll to boot. Comparisons to the Brian Setzer Orchestra will inevitably ensue, especially since Verni recruited drummer Tony Pia and bassist John “Spazz” Hatton (who also created the horn arrangements) from Setzer’s band. But the comparisons should be favorable, as Verni brings the same swagger and energy that Setzer unleashed in the 90s.

Fittingly, The Cadillac Band leads off with, “Cadillac Man.” Bursting off the starting line with surf rock guitar riffs and pulsing drums, punctuated by piercing trumpet blasts, the song moves into high gear as Verni explores the joys of speeding down the road with the top down and the radio up. Jazz piano and Andrews Sisters’ style background vocals help push the song to the lead guitar solo, where Verni (who usually plays bass) shows off his axe skills. The song suddenly morphs into a “Mission Impossible” riff indicating the futility of trying to catch Verni, because, “I race right by with my fist in the air, ‘cause you can’t catch me, I’m the Cadillac Man.”

“Shake It, Swing It,” is an equally blistering call to the dance floor. “Give Me Your Number,” and “The One Who Loves U,” add a flirty, 50’s Rock and Roll flair to the swing rhythms. “Close Your Eyes And Dream,” even adds doo wop elements. “School of Rock n’ Roll,” is, ironically, a full tilt barrelhouse blues number with rollicking piano and blaring horns that make it impossible to sit still. “Cold Hearted Woman” turns the horns up to eleven to heat up even the coldest hearts.

Verni pays homage to the women in his life on a trio of songs written for his wife and daughters. “Just Say You Love Me,” captures the joyfulness of a Broadway musical to describe the bliss of love’s first bloom. On first meeting his future wife, Verni confesses, “My heart went boom, my head went numb. I though that she could be the one.” “Manhattan Baby” is a Louis Prima type tribute to his first-born daughter. “Olivia…That’s Who!” is a rock/swing fusion that incorporates Raymond Scott jazz rhythms to celebrate his second born.

If you don’t know Raymond Scott by name, Verni gives you another chance to get acquainted with him on his cover of “Powerhouse.” For the uninitiated, this is the song that was immortalized in the Daffy Duck and Porky Pig cartoon, “Baby Bottleneck.” Verni also gives his interpretations of Nat King Cole’s “L.O.V.E.” and the rat pack classic, “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head.” From start to finish, D.D. Verni and The Cadillac Band stomp the accelerator and don’t let up.  |  fb  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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