|John-Boy & The Waltons, Family Values
Rarity Records, C192688
Jaap (Jim Bob) once told me "we are not a rockabilly band". Of course he's right about that, but John-Boy & The Waltons are surely rock 'n' roll, and they do play quite a lot of rockabilly too, especially on this new 25 track CD. Carl Perkins, Stray Cats, Vince Taylor, Buddy Holly, Jack Earls, to name but a few. Plenty of 50s and 60s rock 'n' roll and rhythm & blues too; Charlie Rich, Larry Williams, Chuck Berry, Beatles - you name it, The Waltons play it! Something for everyone on this golden platter.
The album starts with their hit-record "(Let Me Be Your) Number 72", previously released on their Election Mini CD. This is kind of a popsong, and the band's first attempt to hit the top 40 - which unfortunatly didn't quite work out. It does not set the pace for what's to come next, because after the opener The Waltons switch over to rockabilly easily with Carl Perkins' "Tennessee". The boys have been playing together for over 12 years, and they are excellent musicians, each and every one of them. No attempt is made to record this album in any fifties style with vintage equipment, no, the album cover explicitly mentions "Totally Stereo". And the sound is just great.
On with some Britisch rock 'n' roll with the old Vipers tune "No Other Baby", a bluesy song with great guitar instros, followed by the utterly fantastic "Gina, Don't You Run With Him", Stray Cats style! And if you can't get enough of the raving rockabilly sound, try the Waltons' version of Vince Taylor's "Brand New Cadillac" on for size. Next is Ernie Chaffin's Sun record "I'm Lonesome", just to slow down the pace a little before rocking into the sixties with "Money, That's What I Want". Another Sun record (there are more to come) is the melodic Charlie Rich song "Rebound".
The self-penned instrumental "2.0.5. Junior" is where Sjoert Teerling shows that he plays the guitar, second only to Hank Marvin. Buddy Holly's "Everyday" changes the rhythm entirely and adds to the wide variety of the album, while picking up speed again with Eddie Fontaine's classic rocker "Nothing Shaking". Carl Perkins' "Lend Me Your Comb" is played with a sisties schwung, kinda like the Beatles played it at the Star Club in Hamburg. The ever great Larry Williams song "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" is next, followed by the country tune "Dukes of Hazzard TV Theme".
Track 15 is Larry Williams' "Slow Down", wrongly credited to Jack Earls. Jack's song with the same title appears a bit further down the line on track 23 (which is credited to Larry Williams). My favorite of the album must be Mike Page's "Long Black Shiny Car", a raving rockabilly classic, one that we all know of the tremendous Restless album "Why Don't You Just Rock". There's no end to this album, 25 tracks is really your money's worth, and the Waltons sing a real good harmony on Buddy Holly's "Well, All Right". You can't leave out mister Chuck Berry of course, when you're on a journey through two decades of rock 'n' roll music ("I'm Talking About You"), and of course the sixties would have sounded a whole lot different without the Beatles, reperesented by Lennon and McCartney's "I'm Down".
Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues" is another sixties track, also recorded by Janis Joplin if I'm not mistaking. One more Stray Cats song is "(She'll Stay Just) One More Day", followed by the afore mentioned Jack Earls song "Slow Down". Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's Christmas hit "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" sounds a bit weird in the middle of summer. The last track is the theme from The Waltons TV series, which is now the tune of John-Boy & The Waltons of course. Fabulous musicianship and a great sound makes this all round rock 'n' roll album a worthy addition to your rock 'n' roll collection. Goodnight John-Boy...
The Waltons are:
Hi Ho Silver Management
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002
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