|Let's Do Some Rock 'n' Roll, Jonas Hofer & The Boppin' Cats
Jonas Hofer from Sweden started to sing and play guitar when he was ten. He soon became the favorite of the audience when he performed at parties and school breaks. At the age of eleven Jonas played "Johnny B. Goode" in a packed assembly hall on a summer's school break. The crowd wanted more and after the extra song "Blue suede shoes" the headmaster of the school commented: "This boy will become a professional artist". Jonas moved on to senior high school of music where he entered deeply into jazz music. Afterwards Jonas continued his studies at Ljungskile folk high school for guitar teacher Bengt Danhäll. Bengt inspired Jonas to become a professional musician and he played a lot of jazz.
Two years later Jonas packed his bag and went to Skurups folk high school where he played with the best jazz musicians of his age in Sweden. Here Jonas guitar teacher was "Mulle" Holmqvist. Jonas formed the cover band "Elvision" where he met with success as an Elvis imitator. In 1996 it was time for Jonas to enter the world of academics. Jonas started "Master of education in music" at the university of Örebro. His main subject was guitar and ensemble. One year later the acapella group The Harmony 4 was formed, they were very successful the university and soon all over Örebro. The Harmony 4 became famous in the entire Sweden after a performances at the Skule Festival, Skinnskatteberg Choir Festival, "Gatufesten" in Sundsvall and a couple of Swedish TV programs.
Well, here's Jonas Hofer's brand new CD "Let's Do Some Rock 'n' Roll", about which Jonas reveals: "Jonas Hofer & The Boppin' Cats" is more a solo project than a band. I know a lot a musicians who can play my songs, "The Boppin Cats" is just there for marking the style of music. So let's give it a spin then. The opening title track is one of those songs that grab your attention right away. Hard hitting drums, a bit of distortion on the guitar, great vocals, catching lyrics and a superb solo on the six strings.
"Love Her In Vain" is something completely different, a kind of white doo-wop ballad, a bit like Dion & The Belmonts, very good backing harmony vocals, definitly a song that brings back the late 50's and early 60's sound. Elvis' rendition of Arthur Gunter's "Baby Let's Play House" reveals no secrets, it's a pretty well known song, done very decently. Jonas' voice does sound a lot like early Elvis, Elvis fans will certainly appreciate this CD.
Next are a few coversongs, starting with Johnny Horton's "Honky Tonk Mind", very well done, with superb Horton style guitar. And there's Ronnie Self's "This Must Be The Place", Bill Haley's "Shake Rattle And Roll" with sax and fabulous piano, Elvis Presley's "I Got Stung", "Such A Night", "A Fool Such As I" and Terry Dene's "C'min And Be Loved". But this is not an "all covers" CD, because Jonas wrote 6 songs himself. Like two more doo woppin' rock'n'rollers "Pretty Baby" and "Tell Me Why".
"Rockabilly Queen" is a strange mix of different 50's styles, made to sound modern with distorted guitar and various keyboard effects, mmmm... Jonas' interpretation of "Loveletters In The Sand" (Pat Boone, Paul Anka) is not my taste, but it does showcase Jonas' vocal capabilities. Next there's a medley of 50's classics, well played and mixed, a great party song. Last track on the album is in the same style as the opener, great rock'n'roll. All in all, here's a fantastic album for you, great muscians, superb vocals, grand production and a true 50's feel, by a Swedisch artist with hardly any accent in his vocals, and who really knows how to pick them strings.. I'll be playing this one a lot more for sure. Original lyrics are available on this website, courtesy of Jonas Hofer.
Backing vocals: Krister Kallin, Gunna Misgeld, Dan Hägg, Ander Gahnfelt, Staffan Lindberg, Daniel Yngwe
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2007