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Ace (CDCHD1345)

Al Ferrier, Johnny Jano, Nathan Abshire, Tommy Todd, Warren Storm, Rocket Morgan, Vince Anthony, Jivin' Gene, Hunter Watts, Ronnie Bennett, Arnold Broussard, Jay Chevalier and more.

The first in a proposed series of releases unearthing a new seam of buried rock and roll treasure that has until now languished in the vaults of independent Louisiana labels since the fifties.

Following the agreement of new licensing deals (not least with the estate of legendary entrepreneur and label owner Jay D. Miller), Ace has been able to combine these hot new finds with other tracks first uncovered more than 30 years ago by Bruce Bastin of Flyright. And by using modern technology and their own brand of magic google-dust, they have re-invigorated the sound quality of the original masters to allow us the privilege of an hour or so of top quality entertainment in the company of these rollicking 28 stonkers from unknown, barely-known and (on this evidence) criminally-neglected artists.

Is it churlish to highlight favourites when every last one of these tracks is situated somewhere between rock solid and inspired? Well, either way, I am particularly partial to the country-fried version of Feel So Good by Bill & Carroll & The Neches Valley Boys and Al Ferrier's tremolo - heavy Indian Rock ‘N' Roll which  brings to mind the great sound of Jack Scott's early rockabilly classics. And what exactly do we make of Rocket Morgan's boogie piano-led version of Release Me (yes, we are talking Englebert here)? Thankfully, the set just never stops giving, even holding back some of the very best moments until near the end - just check out the teasing riff-led Little Bitty Mama by Rod Bernard & The Twisters and the amazing version of Boogie Children (John Lee Hooker's Boogie Chillun to you and me) by The Playboys with John Fred on vocals.

So, if you are a sucker for propulsive rhythms, hiccuping vocals, reverb guitar, honking saxes, rolling piano fills and, this being Louisiana, the sound of an accordion and fiddle or two, I strongly recommend you do yourself a favour and get this CD. And, if you like it as we think you will, keep an eye out for the other CDs proposed for the series.


Review Date: August 2012

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