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Released 22 January

 

The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Three

Various Artists

Atomicat

Third instalment in the thriving series on Atomicat is ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll’ with its theme, this time, rather interestingly and topical right now, the all-important job. Becoming self-sufficient indicates the transition from partying teenager and first tentative steps into adulthood when life becomes a chore once the parents’ funds dry up, and the realisation that the only way to finance a more enjoyable future is “Become Self-Sufficient”. Leading the charge for this brand-new album is Little Richard, and nice choice of song considering it’s an earlier recording of his with ‘Get Rich Quick’. It should be noted that the songs compiled by Dee Jay Mark Armstrong reflect not only the necessities to earn a living, but also the hardships faced when finances become a problem as depicted by the rhythm and blues of The Du-Droppers ‘Dead Broke’ or The Blue Diamonds ‘No Money’. Of course, there’s pleasure to be gained earning a dollar and reflected by rockabilly numbers ‘Big Money’ from Paul Davis and the all-important purchase of a car during the 50s with Hoyt Stevens and The Tennessee Ramblers ’55 Chevy’. With a few obscure gems added to this track list with edgy rock ‘n’ roll of Tom and The Craftsmen ‘The Work Song’, before taking the less secure route to acquiring funds with gambling involved during ‘Crap Shootin’ Sinner’ and its vocalist, ‘Cile Turner’, providing quite possibly the performance of her life as she weaves an engaging story of sin on a Saturday night. Quite simply, it’s top marks all round for ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Three’ for its excellent selection of rhythm and blues and choice cuts of rockabilly, and for providing a fully rounded explanation of why becoming self-sufficient is the only way to go if you want to avoid some of the hardships detailed here.


Released 22 January

 

Cherries On The Lose Volume 2

Various Artists

Atomicat

“Recorded for your dancing pleasure” is the new CD ‘Cherries On The Lose Volume 2’ from Atomicat. With this CD series focusing on “28 First Recordings”, the listener really gets to hear those first impressions of tracks recorded during a golden age of music. Included are the likes of Elvis Presley with ‘Mean Woman Blues’ and then two artists, including Willie Mae Big Mama Thornton (‘Hound Dog’) and Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (‘My Baby Left Me’) who the King himself ended up covering with his interpretations of these two standards. What is interesting here is the variety of styles included from traditional rhythm and blues, doo wop and rock ‘n’ roll to name a few, but also the idea to plant the seeds of these original versions of well-known and some lesser-known songs in the minds of listeners where some, no doubt, will be hearing these for the first time. Take, for example, ‘Twist and Shout’ supplied by rhythm and blues combo Top Notes when many consider the Beatles to be the originators of this song. There is bonus too, and credit to both bands mentioned in conjunction with ‘Twist and Shout’ for stark differences in their presentations of this now famous track. Further plaudits are given to the second volume in this compilation series for “good taste” when selecting the likes of Smiley Lewis and excellent ‘One Night’ (again, Elvis springs to mind), to full strings version of classic ‘Mr. Sandman’ by Vaughan Monroe, and sure-fire pleaser for its inclusion ‘See You Later Alligator’ from Bobby Charles. For those wishing to hear the originals, and sometimes in a different light to others who have made these songs a tad more noticeable, then ‘Cherries On The Lose Volume 2’ is for you.


Released 22 January

 

Rock ‘N Roll Kittens Vol.5

Various Artists

Atomicat

A compilation series that garnered a favourable reception from numerous corners of the rockin’ scene makes its entrance, once more, for a fifth time. Latest in the ‘Rock ‘N Roll Kittens’ CD series is given the title ‘Forbidden Fruit’ and therefore being open to suggestion on numerous levels. Living up to such a notion is opening track ‘Long Tall Sally’ with its lyrics often the cause of much debate and given the female treatment here via Barbara Greene. Despite this version not living up to Little Richard’s version, Greene certainly provides much passion and added differences where the lead guitar is often the focus rather than the piano. From such a solid beginning, the songs continue in similar fashion with, again, strong vocals from Kay Adams (‘All Around The World’) and Janice Harper (‘Come On Home, All’s Forgiven’). It’s this positive feel that shapes volume five of ‘Rock ‘N Roll Kittens’ into a memorable affair, where the nimble rhythm of Carol Hughes’ ‘Pick Another Baby’ and full of spark ‘Cotton Pickin’ Kisses’, supplied by Lorry Raine, truly grab your attention. Given such focus, it can be suggested that the driving force at the heart of this album is often the vocal performances of many of its songs, with Kay Brown (‘Oop Shoop’), Roberta Sherwood (‘Love Is A Breakin’ Out’), Joan Hager ‘Will You Willyum, and less conventional yet still compelling vocals of Bette Anne Steele during ‘Mama (He Treats Your Daughter Mean)’, the women certainly deliver during this compilation. With the title track being a dexterous musical number, and the inclusion of Little Richard’s ‘Slippin’ & Slidin’ sung by Barbara Greene once more and, again, providing a different interpretation, there is much to enthuse over when it comes to the fifth chapter, ‘Forbidden Fruit’, in the freshly revived album series ‘Rock ‘N Roll Kittens’.


Released Out now

 

Boss Black Rockers: Wow Wow Baby Vol.7

Various Artists

Koko Mojo

Its been a long time coming but volume seven in the Koko Mojo series ‘Boss Black Rockers’ finally lands. Worth the wait? You bet! Giving voice once more to an important and influential corner regarding the foundations of rock ‘n’ roll, there are twenty-eight songs featuring black artists from a “Golden Age” of American music. As with the previous albums in this series, expect plenty of wild rock ‘n’ roll with this latest volume. Beginning with a track that simply cannot be tamed, and gladly so, is the superb ‘How About It Baby’ supplied by Emmet Davis. Following on comes Uncle John with ‘Wild Child Gipson’ containing a powerful saxophone that matches the intensity of the vocals. The Rockers’ ‘What Am I To Do’ is chock full of detail where the lead vocal and backing vocals appear to trip over the connected wires of instrumentation one moment, yet somehow manage to come up breathing for air and salvage what really is quite a staggering composition (You need to hear it to believe it!). More straightforward is Sugar Boy Crawford with ‘Round and Round’ possessing a tight rhythm that bristles with energy, only to be hastily shoved from view by complete opposite due to its ramshackle and rowdy delivery, yet utterly thrilling in equal measure, ‘Pretty Plaid Skirt (And Long Black Sox)’ by Mel Smith & The Nightriders. There is an interesting addition to this latest collection given the song’s credentials (i.e. Penned at the hands of Buddy Holly and Norman Petty) yet provided here by The Ravens and their interpretation of ‘That’ll Be The Day’; meaning further kudos to the compiler The Mojo Man (aka Little Victor) for allowing for no discrimination. The inclusion of established names as Otis Redding will attract those looking for familiar artists, but this collection continues its tradition of giving focus to less established names which, of course, will vary from each and every listener depending on the level of knowledge concerning this fascinating history prior to entering the world of ‘Boss Black Rockers’.


Released Out now

 

The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Two

Various Artists

Atomicat

Likely contender for longest album title in the world ever, ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Two’ by Atomicat arrives swiftly after the positive reception volume one received. With thirty tracks to its name, volume two of this brand-new series is already shaping up to be something of a winner. Included this time around are a few well-known numbers and a few surprises and not so well-known tracks. One track Elvis made famous begins this compilation, but this time it is the turn of Frankie Lymon who offers a rockin’ rendition of ‘Jailhouse Rock’. From such wild beginnings the heat only increases with Jeff Daniels in superb form with energized ‘Switch Blade Sam’, and Blackie Starks’ vocal performance on its own enough to entice any passers-by during the “still running” feel of  ‘Running Wild’. Common sense prevails when it comes to ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Two’ because you cannot really have an album concerned with law-abiding citizens and those hellbent on breaking any boundaries they may encounter without including The Crickets’ ‘I Fought The Law’ or, from the other side of the fence, ‘Police Department Blues’ by Andy Griffith. In fact, this collection has pretty much got the lot with instrumentals as Duane Eddy and ‘Peter Gunn’; rock ‘n’ roll via excellent ‘Till The Law Says Stop’ and Johnny Faire; female-vocal group The Bobbettes adding that “pop” touch to this rockin’ compilation, before rolling with the rockin’ and hillbilly-inspired ‘Jail Break’. All in all, a thoroughly absorbing set of songs that will provide hours of listening pleasure as ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment Two’ more than matches volume one in this series.


Released Out now

 

It’s A Wonderful Family Christmas

Various Artists

Atomicat

It’s that time of year when numerous compilation albums are released with naturally Christmas-themed songs in mind. Joining in with such an idea is Atomicat Records with the collection ‘It’s A Wonderful Family Christmas’. With no less than thirty songs to keep any listener entertained throughout the Christmas period, ‘It’s A Wonderful Family Christmas’ and begins in a lively manner with early British rock ‘n’ roll of Benny Lee and The Ken-Tones ‘Rockin’ Rollin’ Santa Claus’ taking a leaf out of Bill Haley and His Comets’ book of rock ‘n’ roll. If you are looking for a Christmas album with a variety of styles, then you have arrived at the right place because this collection pretty much has everything from country, pop and big band influences to modern rockin’ takes with group 45 R.P.M. and their version of ‘Jingle Jangle’. Tex Ritter makes an appearance and offers a bit of country complete with sleighbells during ‘Old Tex Kringle’, before switching genres via The Four Seasons ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’. Variety is certainly in demand for this Christmas celebration as more country artists bring their interpretations with influences of pop by way of Lefty Frizzell and song ‘Mama!’, Johnny Horton ‘They Shined Up Rudolph’s Nose’ and Johnny Cash ‘The Little Drummer Boy’. There’s humour via Sheb Wooley ‘Santa and The Purple People Eater’ and big band presentations such as Kay Starr ‘(Everybody’s Waiting for) The Man With the Bag’. Clearly an album with more or less everything you could wish for in a Christmas album, It’s A Wonderful Family Christmas’ will suit many music lovers looking for something with variety, style and splashes of humour and plenty of warmth to enjoy this coming holiday season.


Released Out now

 

The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment One

Various Artists

Atomicat

Extra long title that is the latest series to be launched by Atomicat Records and goes by the name of ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment One – Defy The Devil’s Music: Dig That Rock ‘N’ Roll’. Naturally, with ten albums scheduled and the tracks selected to feature plenty of searing rock ‘n’ roll, ‘Commandment One’ sets off on such a journey, but with plenty of variety as suggested by the track list. By offering a less obvious choice to begin with as demonstrated by the up-tempo doo-wop ‘Dance Girl Dance’ supplied by Norman Fox and The Rob Roys, and a few rockin’ rhythm and blues numbers such as ‘Rock My Baby’ by Doles Dickens with vocals by Joe Gregory and, likewise, Bill Pinkney and The Turks’ ‘After The Hop’, the entire album makes for engaging listening and right until its finale of German rendition of ‘The End’ (Jeder Tag Geht Zu Ende) from Earl Grant. With such engaging twists in this collection, it only continues along such lines where, despite familiar names, the tracks selected offer more than the standard compilation. So expect to hear Carl Mann and The Kool Kats ‘Gonna Rock And Roll Tonight’, Gene Ray ‘Rock And Roll Fever’, Dick Seaton and The Mad Lads ‘Juke Box Rock’, Jesus Ramirez ‘Rock and Roll’, Willie Egan ‘Rock & Roll Fever’, and Neil Sedaka ‘You Gotta Learn Your Rhythm And Blues’ because the likes of Eddie, Elvis and Johnny are barred from the premises, not that such customary choices would be an unwelcome sight more that ‘The Ten Commandments Of Rock ‘N’ Roll: Commandment One’ sticks to its own path and, therefore, offers a refreshing alternative for doing so.


Released Out now

 

Cherries On The Lose

Various Artists

Atomicat

As this compilation states, “Recorded For Your Dancing Pleasure” that is exactly what the listener can expect with the album, ‘Cherries On The Lose’. Crammed packed with artists and featuring a variation of styles and therefore aiming to attract a broad range of people to this dancehall, ‘Cherries On The Lose: 28 First Recordings’ features artists from rhythm and blues, 50s vocal groups, country bop and early rock ‘n’ roll. With much to consider when it comes to the dancefloor therefore, it’s an amalgamation of rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll that sets this album running with Don and Dewey and the song ‘Farmer John’, and then followed by some rhythm and blues and doo-wop with Jewels and ‘Hearts Of Stone’. The wait is not for long if you’re seeking something with a country vibe as Marty Robbins pops up with ‘Singing The Blues’ and later, Gene Autry, and equally considered, yet far slower tempo, ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’. Eclipsing all mentioned is the excellent subdued and hazy blues-ballad ‘Since I Fell For You’ from Buddy Johnson and His orchestra and featuring the vocal talent of Ella Johnson. Moving on from this masterclass in song writing and setting the pace at a livelier tempo is Stuart Hamblen’s hillbilly-hoedown ‘This Ole House’, followed by something from the field of rockabilly via Elroy Dietzel and always reliable ‘Rock-N-Bones’. If a smorgasbord of musicians and styles from a bygone era is what compels you to the dancefloor, then ‘Cherries On The Lose’ is likely to leave a long-lasting feeling of having experienced an exceptionally good night on the dancefloor.


Released Out now

 

Hillbilly And Rustic Rockabilly Bop Volume 2

Various Artists

Atomicat

Second in the relatively new series ‘Hillbilly And Rustic Rockabilly Bop’ featuring another twenty-eight tracks to whet any listener’s appetite for such western rhythms and early connections to what became known as rockabilly. Volume 2, with its subheading ‘Looking For The Green’, begins via classy offering from Eddy Arnold ‘Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young’ that possesses a fingerpickin’ and foot-tapping rhythm and clear, crisp vocals making it the perfect start. Rightly so, the album doesn’t forget to live up to the “Rustic Bop” of its title as exemplified by the likes of ‘My Baby Done Gone Away’ with genuine raw vocals of Al Ferrier and His Boppin’ Billies, and clearly from the countryside (and new to these ears) Tommy Elliot and The Line Riders’ ‘Sold Out Doc’. With so many great tales, not to mention engaging tunes, the second volume in this series equals the first with its familiar names, and less familiar additions, where examples can be gleaned from Johnny Cash cover song ‘There You Go’ admirably conducted by Foreman Slim; weepie ‘Lonesome Long Gone Railroad Blues’ from Harrison Crump, to a determined Don Gibson and tight rhythm that blends a touch of sweetness as its wraps itself around the forceful words of its song. More greatness comes by way of Ken Marvin and ‘Ah Huh Honey’ where the music almost speaks for this song given its detail, and where you can hear the early steps towards rockabilly with its phrasing. The list rolls on when trying to explain just how good this compilation is because it’s a winning formula with its attention to detail and slight variations in styles without tripping over the boundary of its genre and making ‘Hillbilly And Rustic Rockabilly Bop Volume 2 Looking For The Green’ a sure-fire hit.


Released Out now

 

Grady Martin Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves and Hot Guitar

Grady Martin

Atomicat

Guitar maestro Grady Martin is given centre stage when it comes to new release ‘Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves and Hot Guitar’ on Atomicat Records. Featuring thirty tracks, this compilation album serves as a vehicle to highlight not only the inventiveness of guitar player Grady Martin, but also to demonstrate his influence over the genres of hillbilly, country, rockabilly, and rock ‘n’ roll. With ‘Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves and Hot Guitar’, the first ten tracks feature Grady Martin in numerous roles whether performing with The Slew Foot Five and/or guest vocalists or going it alone. It’s during these opening songs that the listener gains an understanding of those early recordings and influences of country and hillbilly, for example, as demonstrated by Mervin Shiner with Grady Martin and His Slew Foot Five and song ‘Settin’ The Woods On Fire’, made famous by Hank Williams of course. There is a real panache to ‘Long John Boogie’ mainly as a result of Grady Martin’s guitar ironing out some of the creases of its inspiration ‘Oakie Boogie’ and with Don Cherry providing the vocals on this occasion. The remainder of this album is Grady Martin in the role of session musician, and one very much in demand when perusing the track list where a slew of country artists turned some of their output to the emerging sounds of rockabilly with the likes of Lefty Frizzell and Shirley Caddell teaming up for excellent ‘No One To Talk To (But The Blues)’. The album is complete with a string of hepcats/kittens from Elvis, Johnny Carroll, Carl Perkins, Janice Martin, Brenda Lee and Ronnie Self to name but a few, and therefore revealing the respect Grady Martin was duly given by many of those emerging rockabillies and established country artists who no doubt welcomed his presence in the recording studio.


Released Out now

 

Farewell Britain: A Rockin’ Farewell To Britain

Various Artists

Rhythm Bomb

As a final parting of the ways is imminent between Britain and the EU, Rhythm Bomb Records issues a brand-new compilation featuring a selection of its bands and tracks where associations with this upheaval have no direct correlations to anything political and therefore selected on a criteria of emotions only. Expect to find, therefore, songs involving anger and frustration, given the tussle between Brussels and the UK, and expressed appropriately in name and title only via such tracks from Swedish rocker Fireball Steven as ‘Thunder And Lightning’ taken from his recent and critically lauded LP. With plenty of references to decision making, the always reliable Twisted Rod spin a “had enough” yarn of a life going nowhere set to a gritty rockabilly rhythm. Furthering the tension is A. J. & the Rockin’ Trio’s equally rockin’ ‘Done Me Wrong’, and The Hoodoo Tones emotionally raw ‘Who Thinks About Me’, which happens to be the closing number on recent and magnificent album ‘Still On The Run’. ‘Farewell Britain: A Rockin’ Farewell To Britain’ is not confined to rockabilly because the listener will experience a blend of old-time blues, expertly delivered by Black Patti (‘Nagging Blues’), and then given further variations involving traditional blues and rhythm and blues with hints of fresh additions by way of Bonita & The Blues Shacks’ ‘Hottest Wings In Town’; The Jelly Roll Men (‘Come Back Home To Me’) and Cat Lee King & His Cocks’ ‘You’re The Greatest’. Deep in reflection is Little Victor where lies of a relationship plummet ‘So Blue’ to the darkest depths yet remains one of the most compelling tracks available on this album. Ending on a positive note and sounding far from twee because this is a slice of hot rockin’ blues is Sara Lee and ‘Love Is Good’. It might be farewell, but the music and its strong ties between Britain and Europe will certainly live on as demonstrated by this collection of songs.


Released Out now

 

Rockin’ Schlager Party Nr. 2

Various Artists

Atomicat

With number one in this series already available, ‘Rockin’ Schlager Party Nr. 2’ follows quickly on its heels with another thirty-two tracks of German rock ‘n’ roll goodness. If you’re looking for something a tad different when it comes to rockin’ music, then you’ve arrived at the right destination as a whole host of German rock ‘n’ roll artists apply their skills to said genre of the 50s and 60s. As with volume one, numerous artists feature once more with Billy Sanders, Ted Herold, Peter Kraus, Ralf Bendix, in addition to some new faces such as Frank Olsen with jazz and big band influences adding to very light rock ‘n roll that is ‘Bist Du Noch Mein Baby’, or elsewhere IIIo Schieder leaning towards a pop sound with ‘Dolly Dick’ and, even more appealing, Conny Froboess providing a rather excellent version of Paul Anka’s ‘Diana’. Adding to the female ranks of strong performances during this second volume is Dany Mann and ‘Sexy Hexy’, which turns out to be a cover of ‘Stupid Cupid’. As with the first volume, there are plenty of up-tempo numbers with strong examples served by Billy Sanders’ ‘Rocky Rocky Baby’, Peter Kraus ‘Teddybär’ made famous by a certain Elvis Presley and ditto ‘Jailhouse Rock’ with Peter Kraus applying his skills to the German version ‘Hafenrock’. Like its predecessor, ‘Rockin’ Schlager Party Nr. 2’ will likely appeal to serious record collectors and those with a penchant for something “different” when it comes to rock ‘n’ roll.

 



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