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Dr. Duke Tumatoe - I Just Want to Be Rich

Electro Glide Records

10 songs; 43:34 minutes; Library Quality

Styles: Tumatoe Style; Rhythm and Roll, Rock and Roll, Guitar Blues

When I first met D’Arcy “Shuffle Shoes” Ballinger, co-host of the Friends of the Blues Radio Show, we discovered a mutual fanatical love and respect for Dr. Duke Tumatoe. Living in the Midwest has afforded us multiple opportunities over the last 40-plus years to see and meet this Chicago native and Indiana resident.

“Dr. Duke has humor and a wit that won’t quit,” said Ballinger. “He is a national treasure -- located in the Midwest. He has affected so many people in his life. Our friend Doug has patterned a lot of his life, stories, and sayings from Duke. In Jamaica as a tourist, I do my Dr. Duke impersonation by throwing my arms out like I am flying and saying, ‘The man of tomorrow here today,’ and they just love it!” That line can be heard in the opening track, “Bionic Tumatoe.”

Defying labels, Tumatoe’s music should just be called “Duke Tumatoe Music” – a genre of its own. For having a reputation for funny songs (e.g. “It’s Christmas (Let’s Have Sex),” he is damn serious when it comes to music and guitar playing. Not afraid to show his uniqueness, he has capitalized on it whereas others hide their quirks.

The man who always wears read Converse tennis shoes with shirt and tie when performing is also an astute business man. This CD, his 15th (or so), is his debut on Electro Glide Records and his and his band’s first completely family-friendly one. “It's the first album I've ever done that I can actually play for children and not worry about it,” the 63-year-old performer said in an interview posted on his website. “There's plenty of mischief and everything in it, but nothing profane or too blue for everyone's ears.”

In the opener, Dr. Duke takes on the role of psuedo-superhero in the rocking and Theremin infused “Bionic Tumatoe.” He sings, “...I was illum-nified [sic] by a cosmic ray.... don’t use my powers to fight crime or save the world, but I just might use them on a very pretty girl. ... I’ve been transillumnamalgamatemogrified by a cosmic ray!”

“I Just Want to Be Rich” is the best dance inducing, ear-worm song of the last ten years. It’s up tempo drum rhythm (Joseph Maddox) and pulsing bass line (Bill Ritter) are joined by Don Holmes’ piano and Dr. Duke’s driving guitar in a prime example of, simply, “Duke Tumatoe Music.” Guaranteed, you’ll wake up the next day unwarily singing, “I just want to be rich; I don’t want to work!” Further, your brain may be repeating lines like, “I want to go to restaurants and act really rude. I want to talk loud with a mouth full of food. my car I’ll have a hot-tub installed; I’ll hire a hairdresser even though I’m bald.”

By track 7, Duke plays killer, solo acoustic slide guitar on “Barbeque” and pays homage to a late friend and BBQ purveyor on 38th street. (“Because of Duke and this song, I’m going today for some BBQ,” reported Shuffle Shoes.)

“One Good One Left” refers to one good punch left in the old man who is ready to protect his young college bound daughter with all those “...hound dogs out there hanging around.”

“The reason we go to live music shows is to lose troubles of the day. Dr. Duke Tumatoe realizes that more than others, and you walk away feeling better. He puts a different twist to it and takes you one step father away from hum-drum,” said Shuffle Shoes. Next best to a live Dr. Duke performance, is this wonderful new CD!

Reviewer James "Skyy Dobro" Walker is a noted Blues writer, DJ, Master of Ceremonies, and longtime Blues Blast Magazine contributor. His weekly radio show "Friends of the Blues" can be heard Saturdays 8 pm - Midnight on WKCC 91.1 FM and at in Kankakee, IL. To See James “Skyy Dobro” Walker's CD rating system, CLICK HERE

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