Barrence Whitfield & The Savages / The Woggles in The Wine Garden - 8/23/18Thursday, August 23 2018 6:00 pm Doors / 8:00 pm Start / Ends 10:00 pm Estimated End Time
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages / The Woggles in The Wine Garden - 8/23/18
at City Winery Washington DC
- 6:00 pm
- 8:00 pm
- 10:00 pm Estimated End Time
BARRENCE WHITFIELD AND THE SAVAGES
Back in 1983, Barry White (a.k.a. Barrence Whitfield) and Peter Greenberg were working at Nuggets, a record store, in Kenmore Square in Boston. Greenberg, who had previously played guitar in DMZ and The Customs, had recently quit his job playing guitar with Lyres and had begun to form an instrumental Rock n’ Roll band with ex-Lyres Phil Lenker on bass, Howie Ferguson (and Real Kids too) on drums.
The first iteration of the Savages went on to record two critically acclaimed, blockbuster LPs that combined the best of 50/60s rocking R&B with high-octane garage/punk. The first LP, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages was released on Mamou Records in 1984 and was re-released in 2010 on Ace Records with additional material. John Swenson wrote in the Ace liner notes “that in the dark days of the early 1980s… The Savages kept Rock n Roll alive.” The original Savages recorded a second LP in 1985, Dig Yourself on Rounder Records that also rocked in an Esquerita-like manner.
According to Andy Kershaw of the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test, “What positioned Barrence and the band way beyond any other rock’n’roll of the era was a unique marriage of Barrence’s personality and R&B shouter elan to the bounce and insolence of Peter Greenberg’s essentially rockabilly guitar style. With the addition of much ill-mannered saxophone, we have here a band which embodied the heart and soul of rock’n’roll.”
In 1986, Greenberg and Lenker moved on, and the original Savages disbanded soon after. Little did they know that this would be temporary. Thankfully, Barrence kept it alive over the years producing a wide-range of mighty-fine recorded output while continuing to tour worldwide and becoming internationally renowned for his wild performances.
Barrence Whitfield & the Savages LIVE! In 2010, after a 25-year hiatus, Whitfield, Lenker, and Greenberg decided to hang out in the desert and play some shows in the Southwest. This led to the recording of the Savage Kings LP in Cincinnati in December 2010. Cincinnati, Ohio, home to King Records, served up the chance for the Savages to honor and channel their heroes who recorded on King as well as produce a great Rock & Roll record.
The core Savages lineup of Whitfield, Lenker, and Greenberg was now ready to go, supported by an All Star team on Savage Kings that included Andy Jody on drums and Tom Quartulli on sax. Check out their star-studded BIOS! The LP was released in the summer of 2011 on Munster Records in Europe and Shake It! Records in the USA.
Since the release of Savage Kings the guys have been extensively touring Europe and the USA and have subsequently released Dig Thy Savage Soul (2012), Under A Savage Sky (2015) and Soul Flowers of Titan (2018), all to heaps of critical praise.
For a band to not only last 30 years together but keep scaling more imposing heights, it’s going to need a sense of purpose. In the case of The Woggles, the seasoned garage rockers are greeting the milestone with a renewed rallying cry to move ever forward, a three-syllable statement of intent which also serves as the title of their new album on Wicked Cool Records, Tally Ho!
“Tally-ho” is the traditional call of the British hunter upon seeing a fox. This distinctive exclamation serves as a mission statement, then, for a band eager to go forth and conquer. “The band is not as much an institution as a way of life,” says frontman “The Professor” Mighty Manfred. “The main thing is to keep swimming, since the shark that fails to swim dies.”
Fusing pure rock and soul from vintage sources into their own singular sound, The Woggles lay it down hard and loud but with more majesty than recklessness. Their beats and riffs are as strident as Manfred’s swagger and strut onstage. Having played in the past with Johnny Cash, Link Wray, The Zombies and nearly every garage rock group worth its salt, they’re celebrating both Tally Ho! and 30 years as a group on tour in the U.S. throughout 2017, with dates in Europe and Japan planned for 2018. As Meredith Ochs wisely advised on NPR All Songs Considered: “Go see a Woggles show. It will change your life.”