Saturday, May 08, 2010

Great Rock'n'Roll Instrumentals Vol 2 - Just About As Good As It Gets
Smith&Co

Further incidents across the rivers of rock'n'roll instrumentals from shore to shore as volume 2 rises on the horizons. So stop with the slouchin' about n' get up & unbreach the sea walls, let these tides in & never clean yer kitchen again while cards fall to play house evermore. So ya shouldsa know by now or never, on these superlative double-disc smatterings of fret fritter-flappering you get yer noted n' notorious like Duane Eddy (including the breezy devil-in-the-brevil Forty Miles Of Bad Road), Chet Atkins on scintillating form before he sucked seven souls out of country on One Man Boogie and a-slinging out such tremolo-teasin' on 1959's Boo Boo Stick Beat it can only be early wah-wah, note-takers, Dale Hawkins (the Suzie Q chap), Chuck Berry, Johnny & The Hurricanes and Bill Haley and the Comets - even if the songs aren't as readily called to the slayed parade ground of yer mind-grains as Reveille Rock (included here in succinct journalistic hubris), The Imps dirty dawg paw Uh Oh or Woo Hoo (the Rock-A-Teens original iiiissss...here too). But there's also soft-lilt delights like The Fireballs foray into The Champs Tequila (The Champs appear here with the chicken-funkin' Double Eagle Rock) sippery by the name of Torquay, likewise Boots Browns slyly similar bouquet of Cerveza, Santo & Johnny's sublime Sleep Walk and one Bill Black (yuss, Elvis' original Blue Moon Boy bass-man) and generous supply of obscurities - the main one here strikes out at the end of CD1 with Muvva 'Guitar' Hubbard's brace of blues - the alias of producer Don Costa - but try Sil Austin on for size, or Red Prysock for that darn matter.
While an almighty stew here is served up by platters of mad-hattin' on the git-tar a-picken' there's the righteous slurry of slinky N'awlins sax peckin' to consider in this. More than a mere sprinkle for that matter. Juke joint jazz fits alongside the R&B n' 'Billy brigands just right without the uptight transition Britain's trad-jazzers stiffly took to. This 'ere is unbridled rambunctionality, from the Keymen on Long Tall Sally to Ace Cannon's sternum-straddling turns on Bill Justis' tantalisingly-titled Cattywampus. As well as Johnny's Hurricanes (who also roustabout with Red River Rock) there be a Lee Allen, a name maybe not rolling outta people's palates but the soaring squalls on Little Richard and Fats Domino should be seared into yer brain-stems (more will be with Sil Austin's Train Whistle, which, yes, does just that with squealing off-register sax for your 'citements). Well, he crops up here like a tornado for tea then typhoons yer spoons with desserts and don't forget ol' Duane Eddy's sax-a-scratchin between yer shoulder blades on stuff like Yep and idefatigably famous breezeblock bristles of sax n' twang blizzards to turn yer wailing innards into gizzards that can only (?) be Peter Gunn. Rounded off with The Rebel Rousers' The Zombie Walks and The Wailers' Tall Cool One shows how rarefied this ruckus is. Not just a blast of idle hands for guitar nerds or novelty Americana but a tray of brisk rockery for all gauges and gas-guzzling sages. Glorious. Stu Gibson

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