Flyinshoes Review

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CARL PERKINS —THE ROCKIN’ GUITAR MAN; The Singles 1955-1962 + Bonus Tracks 2CDs


Rockabilly and more legend, Sun recording artist Carl Perkins was at the forefront of those acts from the Sun Studio acts to ignite rock’n’roll. Tennessee-raised, Perkins was a real country boy. With his great friends Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis all of whom like Perkins heard their share of gospel music was at the heartbeat of the emergence of the then brand new phenomena rock'n'roll. 

Perkins was steeped in the music of country acts Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, it doesn’t take a genius to spot the likeness to Williams on some tunes. He was playing in a band with his brother Jay when barely a teenager, and then later with another brother Clayton and drummer W.S Holland. Who went on to gain fame in the role with Cash. Apart from his famed and hugely inspirational electric lead guitar work Perkins was also quite a writer. For not only did he write and score a hit on the American singles charts with “Blue Suede Shoes” Perkins also penned such excellent songs as “Honey Don’t” , “Dixie Fried”, “Matchbox” (a mega favourite with rockabilly bands worldwide) and “Boppin’ The Blues” among others. As in the two tracks that open this extravaganza “Movie Magg” and “Turn Around”. Plus you have a terrific story-song about Tennessee, and then country music scene of Nashville, “Tennessee”. It just goes on. While I find his rockabilly less of an attraction after a few spins to his more seriously written songs Carl Perkins to this day is still under appreciated in too many music circles.


Staying on the subject not only did his song help “Blue Suede Shoes” propel Elvis Presley to greater things, but the Beatles also saw fit to record a handful of his songs. Added to the singles the listener has the opportunity to sample his versions of “Sweethearts or Strangers”, Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin”, albeit surprisingly enough it isn’t the most inspirational of covers. Plus, there is a roving version of “Sittin’ On Top Of The World”. Others from the main body not always heard include his cover of Marijohn Wilkins’ “Too Much For A Man To Understand” and one penned with Fred Burch, lilting tune “The Unhappy Girls” and yes, Perkins’ own quirky and totally brilliant “Pink Pedal Pushers”.


                                                                  Maurice Hope          

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