I haven't forgotten about y'all out there, I have been very busy trying to complete the latest Townedgers album and working and trying to figure out if I want to spend the winters in Snowball Minnesota or just take a year off and let them pay for it. But I'm still listening to new music whenever it arrives.
Half Priced Books continues to throw things in the dollar bins on a regular basis and most of them are new imports that didn't sell, including the Not Now Rockabilly Series and I picked up the MGM and Imperial Label years. I have no idea how HP Books are getting this stuff but one day they will pick up the Coral and ABC Paramount stuff. The Imperial Story Of Rockabilly (One Day Music) gives plenty of loving to Bob Luman which we heard Red Cadillac And Black Moustache and a few others, Lew Williams gets six tracks of his own and even rockabilly diva Laura Lee Perkins has all her Imperial sides in order and she gives Brenda Lee a run for the money and at times Wanda Jackson. Plenty of early garage rock figures from The Strikes who has four sides of their own, two obscure things from Johnny and Dorsey Burnette without Paul Burleson and of course you gotta have Ricky Nelson to which One Day pulls out the less celebrated Boppin The Blues and B side to Believe What You Say, My Bucket's Gotta Hole In It which might be the wildest thing Ricky ever did. James Burton adds plenty of guitar as well. Certainly worth two bucks.
Less interesting is the Heroes Collection of Kenny Rogers And The First Edition (Pegasus), which they include 50 songs from the various albums and singles that The First Edition released via Reprise years ago. MCA somehow put out a decent 20 song Best Of, but 50 songs is way too many for a band that relied way too much on Kenny Rogers, he was the best singer, Mike Settle the worst (although he did write some great songs, which Kenny sings on) and the chick singer whoever she was not as good as Gayle McCormick of Smith fame. Of course all the hits are here (Somethings Burning, Ruby, Just Dropped In, Tell It All Brother) but some of the songs were poorly mastered or came from 2nd rate sources. I recall one radio station played the old album The Ballad Of Calico all four sides of it. Wouldn't mind finding a copy but anyway The Heroes Collection is all over the map, has no liner notes and basically not worth your time. Seek out the MCA CD or The Reprise Best Of Album, if you can find them.
Which leaves us to the new Krokus album Dirty Dynamite (The End/Sony Music Switzerland). These guys have been around forever, better known for their Arista albums of the 80s and AC/DC knock off Long Stick Goes Boom and Marc Storace who still sounds like Bon Scott after all these years although he like the band are up in age and whatever happened to Asia's Mandy Meyer? He plays guitar on here as well as Fernando Van Arb. Krokus has actually made some damn good albums of the past decade although their new one is their first new album I reviewed since the 1982 One Vice At A Time lp and this is no nonsense 3 chord AC/DC rock and blooze in each and every track on Dirty Dynamite is rockin fun although whoever thought that The Beatles Help sound done as a power ballad should be smacked upside the head.
Jimi Hendrix has been dead for 40 plus years but Jamie Hendrix although with Eddie Kramer continue to churn out reissues and unreleased stuff and People, Hell And Angels (EXP Hendrix/Sony Music) they plundered in the vaults again for more unheard of Hendrix. Does the world really need another Hear My Train A Comin? This version is better than the one that came out off the Valleys Of Neptune to which Hendrix spits out too bad that you don't love me more angrier than the Neptune version with Buddy Miles bashing away on drums. In all honesty the whole album is better put together than Valleys Of Neptune is, although you do get some jamming here, on the Lonnie Youngblood driven Let Me Move You and the free form Easy Blues. Highlights include another version of Izabella, Bleeding Heart and a pointed Crash Landing dedicated to a druggie girlfriend and it's nice to hear them in original form and not the Alan Douglas' overdubs of guest artists of said title. I always loved Hendrix' guitar playing and have followed him back to the day when he was still alive and I'm sure I continue to follow whatever they find in the vaults; they said they still have a decade's worth of unreleased stuff left I'm if I have the money or time or still live I'm sure I'll be fool enough to buy. And as long as there's still tape left in the vaults, the memory of Jimi Hendrix is still alive and ready to be heard when you have the dollars ready.
Essential Rockabilly: The Imperial Story (One Day) A-
Heroes Collection:Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (Pegasus) C
Krokus-Dirty Dynamite (The End/Sony Switzerland) B+
Jimi Hendrix-People, Hell & Angels (Experience Hendrix/Sony Music) B
PT's Song Pick of the Day: Into Money: by Robin Trower/Jack Bruce