By Bob Ketchum

The latest Whiplash Gumbo music video is "Skippin' Down That Double Yellow". The master shots were done in front of the studio's green screen. Post production and layering was done over a period of months. Guitarist Cal Jackson and Brass Master Gary "El Buho" Gazaway make cameo appearances in the video. Hundreds of clips from public domain archives act as the backdrop for this latest music video.

(Skippin' Down That) Double Yellow - Whiplash Gumbo from Bob Ketchum on Vimeo.

Whiplash Gumbo is the musical vehicle for artist/songwriter M. R. (Randy) Keck, who has recorded 7 albums spanning almost three decades. Starting in 1983, a 33&1/3 LP record album called "Dalte Kizer" was released on HYPE Records.

It only contained 7 songs and clocked in at over 36 minutes of music. The cover art was an etching by Randy and started a long tradition of featuring his own art work on each successive release. The entire album was recorded with a core band consisting of Randy on vocals and keyboards, Cal Jackson on guitars, John Davies (at the time with Paperkid) on bass and Brett Rheam on drums. A very limited number of albums were produced on this project and anyone still possessing one surely has a vintage piece of memorabilia. Three music videos were also produced from that original album, on the songs "Thin Lines", "Rhyme Needs No Reason", and "Camouflage Horseshoes".

Later, in 1990, the 13-song "Whiplash Gumbo" was released in cassette-only form. In contrast to the under 45 minute running time (necessary due to the disadvantages of vinyl), this release contained almost 70 minutes of music. It also contained some of Keck's best compositions like "The Letter 'S'", "Alone Lee", "Two Is For You", and "Dirtdobber". Because this album was only available on cassette format, sales were understandably low. This prompted several songs from this collection to be re-issued on later projects.

Four years and 13 more songs later a CD was released on Randy's own Wild Hog Records. The album was titled "Whiplash Gumbo" and created some confusion since that was also the name of the previous cassette release. Oddly enough, it also contained about 67 minutes of music. The cover art featured another one of Randy's original paintings called "Don't interupt me while I'm thinking". An updated track of "Rhyme Needs No Reason" (from the original LP record back in 1983) opened the album.

In 1998, he released the CD "What It Is", which included songs from previous releases like "Quality", "Lookin' For A Sugar Daddy", "Two Is For You", and "The Letter "S". All the reissued songs were completely remixed and remastered. Incidently, each release includes all the lyrics to all the songs. On the original record release the entire back cover is a printout of the lyrics. Each CD release includes a booklet containing a list of musician credits as well as complete lyrics. From the second release on, the listener almost needs a "team roster" to credit all the players. To read all about the making of this album, go HERE.

A music video was made for "That Was Then, This Is Now".

A CD Single Remix of the track "None Of That" was done by Joe Mesko. The song, originally titled "I Wanna' Make Your Life Better", appeared on the "What It Is" album. This remix is so wild we wanted to include it here for those of you who have the original and want to hear just what can be done to an original stereo mix to make it almost indistinguishable from the original.

(Click on the image for the "None Of That" REMIX)

Now, his very latest CD project "Survival In Meantime" is finished. Subtitled "The Last Tracks Of Porky Hill", it is indeed a kind of tribute to the drummer who had been the mainstay of any "Whiplash Gumbo" project since the first CD release in 1990. But it also marks several new areas for the production team, working with 24-tracks, automated mixing, and the luxury of digitally manipulating the stereo mixes. For the full story on "Survival In Meantime" go HERE.

When Whiplash Gumbo performs live Keck surrounds himself on stage with the Creme of the Crop of the most talented players in the region and friends forged from years of collaborations. You may never know who you will see on stage supporting Randy as he sings from his keyboards, but they will all have good chops. Music veterans Cal Jackson, Earl Cate (The Cate Brothers), John Davies, Tom Payton, Darren Novotny, and Frank Posey are long-time players. Most of the seasoned veterans around these parts consider it both an honor and a very pleasant experience to share the stage with Randy's band of "variables" in front of an audience made up largely of local musicians. I have on several occasions myself been summoned to share the stage on various instruments of destruction with as many as 10 other lucky souls swept away on one of Whiplash Gumbo's 10-minute "slanted jazz" jams.

Whiplash Gumbo Live Jam - January 2010 from Bob Ketchum on Vimeo.

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