THE HOWLIN COYOTES
The first thing that hits you when you spin this limited edition 10” coloured vinyl release is that this band are solid. Solid as in rocking relentlessly. It’s a super group but not one that’s spent years getting to know each other telepathically. Ben Turner’s drums and a thundering slap bass are the bedrock to Alan Wilson’s guitar and keyboard poetry while Brett Waters warbles with aplomb. The lyrical content varies from championing a bygone blues legend, twice, through Indian’s and affairs of the heart to no words at all. There are ten thumping tracks in which the double bass is played by Mark Palmer and is a masterclass in neo-rockabilly slapping. When you learn that at the time of recording it was feared this could have been Mark’s legacy. A brain tumour threatening to prematurely snuff out his life, you get an extra sense of striving to play the session to be remembered by. He certainly does that and beat the cancer in the progress which makes this an even bigger joy to play, this is a rumbustious rocking and bopping surf splatterer of an album which should be snapped up.
CHUCK & THE HULAS
‘REMEMBER YOU’RE A HULA’
I had to double check, but the two Chuck & The Hulas CDs originally came out in 2005 and 2008, that’s frightening it was so long ago. This pineapple yellow vinyl 10” contains a dozen of the best from those two releases. For those that missed them the first time, Chuck & The Hulas was basically a project between Alan Wilson and Frantic Flintstones frontman Chuck Harvey. I don’t think anyone one but everyone’s favourite nutter Chuck would have got away with this, a collection of crazy favourites done as only Harvey can, going mental vocally on renditions of ‘Purple People Eater’ ‘Witchdoctor’ and ‘Don’t You Just Know It’ to pick a choice few. Alan Wilson and fiends do well to keep it all together as Chuck has the time of his life. It’s been a while since chief Hula Harvey has performed or recorded, he’s on a self-imposed hiatus, so it’s great to see his face on a new release even if it’s a reissue he’s that sorely missed. That’s not to distract from what is a fantastic rocking album of fun party music.
JOHNNY KIDD AND THE PIRATES
‘PLEASE DON’T TOUCH’
This is a 10” 45 rpm vinyl released with a 33 track CD. The first 12 tracks of the CD are the same as the vinyl, the rest are a combination of later Pirates recordings and cover versions of their songs by other artists. The tracks reserved for the vinyl only are the earliest recordings, all time classic ‘Please Don’t Touch’ was recorded in April 1959, this is the studio version. the demos, tantalisingly not included, were recorded under Kidd’s real name ‘Fred Heath’ a year earlier. Surprisingly, the single only flirted with the top 20, the follow up failed to chart. It was in 1960 featuring a different crew of Pirates that Johnny Kidd hit legendary status with the number one smash ‘Shakin’ All Over’ without doubt the song Kidd is best known for, there’s so much care of the CD dispelling any inkling the guys were about a couple of songs.
Recording and performing the title track of the 1956 film ‘Rock, Rock, Rock’ should have catapulted Coral recording artist Jimmy Cavallo into the realms of the all-time greats of the rock n roll era. Sadly, for him it didn’t happen. The singing saxophonist had been rocking since the 1940’s infusing rhythm n blues and swing, recording Jimmy Preston’s ‘Rock The Joint’ in 1951 before Bill Haley, but it was in the latter’s shadow Jimmy and his House Rockers languished under through the 1950s. The northern rock n roll sound was up there with Haley but the hit records weren’t. Listen to these tracks now, the bottom end danceable beat of Haley’s prominent slap bass isn’t there, the beat is in the braa. Unlike Haley who ultimately faded by sticking with his formula Jimmy Cavallo moved with the times, Cavallo rocked through the decades to as late as 2006 are tracked here.
Jimmy Reed is an artist whose work is known by everyone even if they don’t know it. Who could forget Elvis thrashing poor old Scotty Moore’s guitar with his rendition ‘Baby What You Want Me To Do’ on the 68 Comeback Special? Jimmy Reed was right there at the start, embracing the emergence of rock n roll in popular music being the first blues artist to cross over into the pop charts. His music was massively evident in the 60’s R&B movement in the UK and had a fan in the late great John Peel who said, ‘It’s all such great music to funk to’ and so it was. All the big hits are here including ‘Shame Shame Shame’ and ‘Big Boss Man’. As with many legends, Jimmy’d have never reached the heights without their sidemen, guitarist Eddie Taylor is Jimmy’s, four of his own recordings also featured in this essential 29 tracker.
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