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The best kept secret in music


"Chris Riemenschneider: Red House gives a green light"

To fully enjoy First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase, don't start chooglin' too much before the last band.

That's the best I could come up with during Wednesday's newcomers show for the "use Chooglin' in a sentence" contest, which preceded a mighty set by the band of the same name, featuring two former Midnight Evils, a bursting two-man horn section and hyper takes on old gems such as Roy Head's "Treat Her Right."
- Star Tribune

"First Avenue Best New Bands of 2005 Showcase (Wednesday, January 18th, 2006, First Avenue, Minneapolis)"

Just before Christmas, Chooglin’ gave Soul Asylum a run for their money in the opening slot at the veteran rock band’s holiday show at First Avenue. At the Best New Bands Showcase, Chooglin’ got their comeuppance when they had to follow equally stellar Birthday Suits. It was a tough job they handled easily by virtue of having a different story to tell, and by sheer numbers (they win 6 to 2 when you count the two horn players who joined them onstage for their last couple songs). Each member of Chooglin’ contributes to the musical tornado they whip up onstage. Up by the speaker stacks, chest cavities continued to resonate as they had during Birthday Suits, if only a slightly less frantically. Vocalist/guitarist Brian Vanderwerf’s cap was pulled down so low it was almost over his eyes at times. Jesse Tomlinson shreds the “other” but definitely not second guitar. The bass player wielded his instrument like a weapon. Drummer Shawn Walker sits on a stool so low it looks like a tuffet, but Little Miss Muffet he ain’t. Judging by the reaction of most audience members, there’s no question this band belonged on the bill -

"Audio Rorschach"

Their goofy name comes from an old Creedence tune. Two of their members--singer/guitarist Brian Vanderwerf and guitarist Jesse Tomlinson--come from roots-punk hard-asses the Midnight Evils, voted Best Live Band in these pages not long ago. And their sound comes largely from '70s rock of the hard and fast variety. But based at least on seeing Chooglin' open for Soul Asylum this past December (they played their first show in late November), the group isn't egregiously or self-consciously retro. They don't bother with Me Decade visual trappings, and treat their influences playfully rather than ironically (or reverently). Most importantly, of course, they rock in the manner of a hurricane or tornado or some such natural power. The lyrics, I haven't been able to make out yet. For some insight into Vanderwerf's tastes, we sat around his Uptown apartment, played some records, and talked about them. - City Pages

"In Da Club: Chooglin' at the Triple Rock"

The word "Chooglin'" sounds like an onomatopoeia for beer guzzling or trains chugging. It's actually a Creedence Clearwater Revival term for partying and fornicating, as laid out in the classic, "Keep on Chooglin'"--"You got to ball and have a good time/And that's what I call chooglin'." What's also called Chooglin' is a new local band that debuted last Friday night at the Triple Rock. The CCR reference was probably lost on the majority of the twenty-to-thirtysomethings at the show, but judging by how quickly and early the bar filled up, many did know that the opening band featured two former members of the now defunct Midnight Evils, guitarist/singer Brian Vanderwerf and drummer Jesse Tomlinson, who now plays a Telecaster. Chooglin' the band is a good time, emphasis on beer and a classic rock sound; their standout, Shawn Walker, also drummer for the Fuck Yeahs, channels Keith Moon through his manic drum fills - City Pages


Radio air play: The Current 89.5 in studio performance -
songs: "Do It To It" "Shot The Life" "Treat Her Right" - (Roy Head Cover)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rising from the ashes of a burned out van and a burned out band---The Midnight Evils, Jesse "Hot Links" Tomlinson, and Brian Vandewerf (AKA Vandy) decided to "Keep On Chooglin'"…which happens to be the name of their new group. Hailing from Minneapolis, The Evils, were a whomping, stomping, non-stop rocking machine, releasing two records for acclaimed garage rock label, Estrus Records. The band's untamed live show garnered accolades from fans and the press. MPLS' City Pages named them "BEST ROCK BAND" two separate years.

The Midnight Evils toured the US countless times and made a trip to the UK---where they were fortunate enough to record a JOHN PEEL SESSION before his untimely death.

Tomlinson, who played drums in the Midnight Evils, now sings like a bird and picks the guitar. Vandy, continues wailing and strumming. The rhythm section is the shit. The drummer, Shawn Walker, AKA "The Punk Rock Buddy Rich", also of the Fuck Yeahs, is a tornado wrapped in a hurricane. Jeff Johnson, former guitarist of MPLS band, Blame, lays down the driving grooves like Wille Weeks.

Added to all the fun are The Horns Of Eleganza, the 3-piece horn section whom accompanies Chooglin' on many songs, making Chooglin' one of the most unique rock and roll bands around. Their live show has quickly gained notoriety and they have shared the stage with great bands such as The Dirtbombs, The Reigning Sound, The Detroit Cobras, The Soledad Brothers and even Soul Asylum!

The band has just finished recording their debut record with producer/engineer, Dave Gardner (The Hold Steady/Dillinger Four/Melvins, etc.) at the old Blackberry Way studio (Replacements' LET IT BE) in Minneapolis. Look for the band in your town soon…wherever that may be!