Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings play rock and roll the right way. The powerhouse Albany NY combo has wowed crowds at Manhattan's Rodeo Bar, Seattle's Tractor Tavern and all points in-between; and they've done it with uncommon fervor, commitment and flair.
The Gretsch-toting Gamsjager draws from a deeper well than most roots rock acts, giving his music a breadth and depth while still keeping the bar hopping and the dance floor filled.
In addition to their own dates, Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings have also accompanied Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, for over five years, and frequently work with other seasoned artists like Bill Kirchen, Eddie Angel and Robert Gordon.
Jackson says, "I have worked with many bands around the world through the years, and none are better than Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings. Their fine showmanship and musical ability make them the greatest in my book. THEY ROCK!!"
The Lustre Kings' new, appropriately-titled long-player "Way Out There" (Wild Boar Records) is their fourth and finest effort.
In his liner notes for the album, six-string wizard Deke Dickerson says, "Like a fine wine, the Lustre Kings just get better with each passing year, and this new album has the seasoned bouquet and nutty aftertastes that won't leave you disappointed."
And one-name-only Really Rockabilly reviewer, Kitti, says, a little more seriously than old Deke, "There is a rockin' rhythm throughout the album which perfectly unites all the songs. You have a feeling of traveling in time through America, and the Lustre Kings' time machine will show you the way out of the present and introduce you to doo-wop, country, hillbilly, bop and wild rock'n'roll, and then bring you back to rockabilly."
As noted, "Way Out There" is the fourth full-length platter from the band. The group's righteous Cacophone debut album, "Mark Gamsjager Rocks & The Lustre Kings Roll," was a travelogue of great American rock and roll, with tunes from legends like Gene Vincent and Ronnie Self, as well as from contemporaries like Commander Cody's Billy C. Farlow and the aforementioned Los Straitjackets' guitar strangler, Eddie Angel.
Amazon.com's Stephen Prisco called the record a keeper, saying "While most rockabilly bands seem to be content with just recreating the sound of classic records from years ago, the Lustre Kings have captured the spirit of that era, tapping into what made those records and artists so great in the first place."
The Lustre Kings' sophomore effort, "Once a King, Always a King," upped the ante with even more "hot boppin' rockabilly action," prompting the Berkshire Eagle to proclaim "The Lustre Kings dig deep into early rock and related styles, steering away from a greatest-hits oldies approach, preferring to connect the dots among such unlikely musical bedfellows as Conway Twitty, Peanuts Wilson, Link Wray and Duke Ellington (they even render a surf-guitar version of the Duke's "Caravan")."
And the killer third album, "That's Showbiz," the first on the Lustre Kings' own Wild Boar Records label, caused The Beat to rave "Gamsjager remembers when "rock 'n' roll" actually used to signify something, and his band sounds like it just left Sun Studios yesterday."
The Lustre Kings have a devoted international fan base and they continue to tear up the road every year, performing over 150 dates annually and appearing regularly at events like the Viva Las Vegas Festival (Las Vegas NV), the Heritage Folk Festival (Bangor ME) and the Rockin 50s Fest (Green Bay WI) as well as at famed haunts like the Continental Club (Austin TX), The Sutler (Nashville TN), The Starr Bar (Atlanta GA), The Hi-Tone (Memphis TN), Johnny D's (Somerville MA), The Big C Jamboree at Martyr's (Chicago IL) and, of course, the Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl (New Orleans LA).
Creative Loafing got it right when they said, "The Lustre Kings have a sound so powerful it leaves listeners hungry for more."