|Explosive Rock-A-Billy 2, Buck Jones
Hogfarm International HOG022
Buck Jones in his own words:
A fistfull of boppers softened up with two ballads. I'm especially proud to introduce to you Reverend Bergamond T. Gotten, who wrote western ballads in 1870's, just after the Great Civil War. I've recorded two of his very finest. The first is about rebel soldiers and the second one tells us a tragic story about Josey Grade.
There's also a song written by my saddlepodner Tim McCoy, it's called Blue Cap Blues. I think Tim wrote it in 1920's but I'm not sure. And then there's a Ramones cover, because I've listened to the Ramones since they first came out. Early 70's that was. I recorded "Blitzkrieg Bop", which I think is a great bopper. Musically it could've been made by Eddie Cochran. The lyrics are also great. I know it ain't Rockabilly, but 666% pure rock'n roll.
The other pieces are made by me for your pleasure. I've tried to maintain that original Finnish rockabilly-style of Explosive Rockabilly 1. I've played all the instruments on this album myself. The drums were the hardest part, but I think they came out nice. I've never played drums before, but I guess I have to get me a set. Drummin' is great fun.
Recording his first solo album "Bad" in 1980, Buck went on to record a memorable album for Rollin' Rock (USA) in 1981 with his soulmate Teddy Guitar, and with the help of rockabilly legends Ray Campi and Kevin Fennell. He played in many different bands (Killers, Dead End 5, Rhythm Riders, Lonestar Cowboys, Lonestars, Falcons, Hooks, Texas Rooster) and he lives and plays music by his motto "They call me bad, that's what I am!"
Buck's new album is a collection of hot rockabilly, pumping rock 'n' roll and Soutern tales, hitting off with the new but authentic rockabilly song "Everybody's Rockin' With Me", which is kinda recorded in the original Rollin' Rock style. The Ramones' original "Blitzkrieg Bop" is next, and it's a fabulous bopper with great distorted guitar licks. I actually do not know the original version, I never considered The Ramones rockabilly, but after hearing this great Buck Jones rendition I must check it out one day. Btw, The Taggy Tones also recorded a good rockabilly version of this song.
The Civil War song "The Ballad Of Josey Grade" is something else too, a mix of blues, twang and Indian rhythms, it reminds of early recordings by The Flying Saucers (The Ballad of Johnny Reb) with a Meteors twist (Johnny Remember Me). "Bamalama-Loo" is great rockin', Jerry Lee Lewis style, but without the piano (LOL). Some Johnny Cash influences can be heard on "GhostTrain", and the traditional instrumental "Crazy Yankee In The Pea Patch" makes you wanna jump around a campfire. Loads of fun!
When listening to "Heart Full Of Feelings", Jody reynolds comes to mind. It's great to hear how Buck nicely mixes authentic sounds of many of the great originators. More boppin' rockabilly on "Wildchild" and more great western guitar on "Southern Guns" and "Blue Ridge Bar", a self-penned story telling song in the Marty Robbins tradition.
Some more hoppin' around the bonfire with "Blue Cap Blues". "Blue Cap" refers to the Yankees during the Civil War, the song has nothing to do with Gene Vincent's Blue Caps. "Black Shake Moan" showcases Buck's fabulous deep-down-low vocals, and the lyrics of "You Smell Kinda Cute" about a red neck girl teaches us a new way of hitting on a girl. Did you ever try chatting up a blonde bombshell telling her she smells good? You might wanna give it a try...
The closing track "Sweet Gasolina" is a hard knocking rock 'n' roll song that'll surely raise the hairs in your neck. Well done Buck, another great album on your long list of rock 'n' roll landmarks, hey... you even got the drums right!
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2005