Smokin' boasts one of the widest repertoires of rock covers in CNY. They play everything from "Walk Don't Run" to "Walk This Way," from "Hanky Panky" to "Sugar Sugar," from "Kansas City" to "California Sun," from "Cocaine" to "I Wanna Be Sedated." The quintet cooks up some country tunes too and can play every dance-craze theme you can imagine, from "The Hokey Pokey" to "Hava Nagila."
While Smokin's best known for its oldies, the band also covers contemporary artists such as Keith Urban, Pink and Sheryl Crow. The group pays homage to the 1980s' New Wave scene with songs by The Go-Gos, The Romantics and the B-52s.
The 12 tracks on Smokin's new disc, "Hot Stuff," reflect the band's commitment to a diverse but always danceable set list. After opening with Wilson crooning Buddy's Holly's "It's So Easy," the disc alternates vocalists as Fetterly predicts a "Heartache Tonight."
Even though it's Fetterly singing lead, Wilson's right there beside him, adding a backup vocal that growls with emotion. Such teamwork is Smokin's trademark. Wilson follows with Gloria Gaynor's disco-era anthem, "I Will Survive," solidly supported by Lindberg's synthesizer. In fact, the keyboardist rises to several challenges, fingering a clever outro on "Unchain My Heart," bringing a blues-piano feel to "Who's Your Daddy?" (both Fetterly vocals), before adding synthesized strings to Wilson's version of the timeless ballad, "Since I Fell for You."
Then Lindberg takes to the microphone himself to sing an enthusiastic "At The Hop," with his band mates adding hot harmony vocals. Rhodes' guitar work also spices up the recording, with a searing lead on "Heartache Tonight" and brief but tasty fills on "It's So Easy" and elsewhere. For his vocal contribution, Rhodes sings the somewhat obscure but nonetheless rivetting "Rock'n'Roll Ruby," a rockably standard replete with reverb. Recorded at SubCat Studio in Skaneateles, "Hot Stuff" also features Wilson doing the Rod Stewart title track, and Fetterly getting funky on "Givin' It Up for Your Love" and "Play That Funky Music (White Boy)." The disc's most dynamic track is Wilson's uninhibited embrace of Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman." "Hell yeah," indeed!