RED HOT (A MEMPHIS CELEBRATION OF SUN RECORDS)
Americana Music Society
Great Music For an Even Better Cause.
Anything with the Sun Records Label attached has to be of interest, hasn’t it? Interest – yes; good? Not always as my record collection will testify; but the source this ‘charity album’ came from was unimpeachable so into the hi-fi it went and YOWZA, YOWZA…..YOWZA!
Everything here was recorded in the two legendary Sun studios for this album with all proceeds going to aid St. Jude Children’s Hospital (children’s cancer specialists btw) in down-town Memphis.
I’d not heard of John Paul Keith before, but his rip-snorting Rock & Roll song Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache straddles Class and kitsch with comfort; and sounds like it would be perfect for an future Happy Days soundtrack.
This is followed by the ever wonderful Valerie June with Jimbo Mathus and Amy LaVere on background vocals, swooning their collective way through Sure To Fall (in love with you) which made me unknowingly clutch my heart half way through. Peggy Lee eat your heart out!
This being a love letter to Sun, we get a lot more authentic toe-tapping and hip-swinging Rock & Roll from not just the title track Red Hot by ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ but also Shawn Camp on Lonely Weekends and Jimbo Mathus truly tears the joint apart with High School Confidential.
Of course the Blues have to be here too; and what better servant to add class and cool than Mr Bobby Rush? Oh Lordy, Lord he nearly broke my heart the first time I heard his raw and emotional Tough Titty…..this is the Blues with a capital B, and reminded me what a truly great singer he has always been.
I won’t go into too many details of who the house band are but brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson are at the helm; and Luther gets to close the record with an epic version of Moanin’ at Midnight (Pts 1 & 2) which lasts a total of 13 minutes and not a second is wasted; especially when Lightnin’ Malcolm makes Johnny Winter and Stevie Ray Vaughan sound like amateurs the way he plays that geetar!
While I hardly know of Amy LaVere; I’m aware she can sing a bit,; but wasn’t quite prepared for her sassy and rather sexy rendition of Ten Cats Down which is very much the RMHQ ‘Favourite Track’ on an exceptional album that doesn’t have a bad; or even poor track on it.
What more can I say? This is a wonderful album for an even better cause; there is pretty much something here to titillate every regular reader and even if there isn’t, it’s a charity/hospital well worth supporting anyways.
Released June 16th 2017