By Anita Stewart, Managing Editor
Review: The Champs featuring Dave Burgess’ Tequila Party – November 20, 2020 (Time Life)
Dave Burgess formed The Champs in the mid-50’s and the band had their first hit with “Tequila” in 1958. So here we are 62 years later and Dave, now in his 80’s has re-recorded five of The Champs’ biggest songs and written seven new songs for his new album, Tequila Party. With elements of pop, early rock, swing, rockabilly, 50’s dance and R&B, the re-visioned album was released on November 19th, 2020.
The song “Tequila” was originally the B-side of The Champs’ first single “Train To Nowhere,” but the extremely fun and rowdy tune took off like a bullet and was #1 for three weeks. The song has been covered by numerous artists and has been featured in films, TV shows and commercials over the years. The song won a GRAMMY for the Best R&B Performance in 1959 and has sold over one million copies. To see a live performance of this song on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” TV show, CLICK HERE!
Regarding the re-visioned album Tequila Party, Dave states, “I love the music business and love making music, no matter if it’s playing, producing or writing. With Tequila Party I was able to do all three, and I’m extremely happy with the outcome. The Champs have fans throughout the world, and I hope they are as pleased with this record as I am.”
The Champs broke up in 1965 but not before making a huge mark in the music industry. Dave Burgess continued his music career and has over 700 copyrights registered with BMI. Those who have recorded his songs include: Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Lou Rawls, The Lettermen, Marty Robbins, Anne Murray, Eddy Arnold, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ray Price, Johnny Rivers, Glen Campbell, Rick Nelson and many more.
Burgess also became a master at supporting, mentoring and producing other musicians and hired many who went on to establish their own incredible careers such as Glen Campbell, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts (who became the duo Seals & Crofts) and Bonnie Bramlett, who early in her career was one of Ike and Tina Turner’s Ikettes and later became half of the successful duo Delaney and Bonnie. Dave also produced Don McLean, Darlene Love and The Blossoms, and Marty Balin (of Jefferson Starship). For over four decades he has managed the publishing rights of Hank Williams, Jr., creating a huge business and receiving many industry awards and much respect from his peers. There is no question, this is one career a young musician of today could only aspire to and Dave’s music will last forever! You can purchase the new album HERE!
1. Tequila Party–this is the famous Tequila song with the sounds of a party going on in the background. This song always makes people want to move! A party song for six decades! The party-goers chime in on the one word chorus in this rendition of the song!
2. Frijoles–riffing and blending Tex Mex and rock music with brass, guitar and drums, a faster tempo song, perfect for “cutting the rug” (commonly known as dancing)!
3. Green Onions–this is a cover the classic R&B/Rock/Top 40 song done in the early 60’s by Booker T. and the M.G.’s complete with guitar, sax, harmonica and keyboard solos. Every player got a chance to shine on this one!
4. Hot Salsa–this is a rock song with a slower tempo and Latin sounding riffs on the brass instruments. A real cool blend of Rock and Tex-Mex.
5. Jalapeno–a fun song, even tempo, retro rock and even rockabilly, very 50’s. While most of these songs are instrumentals, this one has a chorus that one can sing along to. The only word “Jalapeno!”
6. Meltdown–straight up rock song, great guitar work on some of the lead parts and the sax also leading and can’t forget the infectious bass line and drums!
7. Oye Como Va—Santana’s epic song from their watershed album, Abraxas is covered by the Champs and again, the Champs make this very much their own song! The guitar work for the rhythm and a lead spot, sax playing most of the lead and great drum work providing the beats. My personal favorite, but then, this song is ALWAYS my favorite!
8. Peter Gunn–the theme from Peter Gunn with the lead harmony on the sax and keyboards behind it! Fun song for those of you that have never seen the old TV show. The band made this cover their own!
9. Risque–almost a lullaby on some beautiful and flowing acoustical guitar opens the song…and then a heavy beat on drums throughout the song–very retro. Get down vibes on the sax!
10. Sonora Red–a fun song that opens with Spanish guitar and lots of brass and a heavy drum beat and vocalizations…very Tex-Mex harmony and rhythms! Let’s see–what could Sonora Red be about? Wine? Something else? Hummm.
11. Tejano Nights–very retro Bossa Nova beats on this one and perfect for dancing the Samba. The guitar solo but for the most part, the brass and sax play the lead.
12. Watermelon Man–yes, a Rock/R&B/Blues song, this is also a very hot cover of the song that was on Herbie Hancock’s very first album, “Takin’ Off” that was recorded in 1962. You will hear some great guitar and keyboards in this version.
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