Free Times Review
Brian Lisik
Published August 16 - 22, 2000

The KingBees This debut treats the blues like fun, upbeat music, giving even the haunting Robert Johnson classic "Crossroads" a souped-up frat party treatment. The approach may have been appropriate when the band formed seven years ago to provide entertainment at a summer barbecue, but transferred to disc, itís both their strongest and weakest attribute, depending on your perspective.

With no less than four covers on the 12-song CD, the KingBees obviously are not trying to break any new musical ground. However, their version of "Route 66" does feature an interesting cabaret-jazz treatment, the humorous "Too Much Woman" would fit right into the Fabulous Thunder-birdsí songbook, and vocalist/guitarist Mike Binder hits a home run with "My Baby Waits For Me" a shuffling, cocky original that benefits from Binderís fine vocals and the rollicking piano of Scott Wilson. Itís the only number to leave the park, though.

For the most part, this collection of pleasant, well-played, but less-than-awe-inspiring tunes is just a nicely recorded totem for fans of these club-tested vets. Who ever said that EVERY band on Earth had to be a pioneer to be enjoyable?

Brian Lisik